EU’s top diplomat urges US to rethink dropping Ukrainian aid from stop-gap budget bill

A woman reacts during the All-National minute of silence in commemoration of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the country's war against Russia on Independence square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. Ukraine commemorates veterans and fallen soldiers on Sunday. The date of the annual Day of the Defenders was moved from 14th October as part of the reforms of the church calendar introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (AP Photo)
A woman reacts during the All-National minute of silence in commemoration of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the country's war against Russia on Independence square in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. Ukraine commemorates veterans and fallen soldiers on Sunday. The date of the annual Day of the Defenders was moved from 14th October as part of the reforms of the church calendar introduced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (AP Photo)

LONDON — The European Union’s foreign policy chief called on U.S. lawmakers Sunday to reconsider their decision to omit financial support for Ukraine from a stop-gap budget bill Congress passed to halt a federal government shutdown.

The legislation approved Saturday to keep the federal government running until Nov. 17 dropped provisions on providing additional aid to Ukraine, a White House priority opposed by a growing number of Republican lawmakers.

Speaking in Kyiv after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said European officials were surprised by the last-minute agreement in Washington and pledged the 27-nation bloc would carry on helping the invaded country defeat Russia.

“I have hope that this will not be a definitive decision and Ukraine will continue having the support of the U.S.,” Borrell said.

“We are facing an existential threat. Ukrainians are fighting with all their courage and capacities, and if we want them to be successful, then you have to provide them with better arms, and quicker,“ the Spanish diplomat added.

Ukrainian officials stressed that U.S. backing for Ukraine would continue despite the stop-gap legislation.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said America’s relationship with Ukraine had not changed and that Ukrainian officials meet regularly with representatives from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

“All of Ukraine’s key partners are determined to support our country until its victory in this war,” he wrote on Telegram. / AP

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