An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told POLITICO on Tuesday that Kyiv is worried that some members of the Biden administration might use Congress as an excuse to start winding down military aid and push for Ukraine to pursue more realistic war goals.
“I think both on Capitol Hill and in the administration, there are people who are looking to calibrate security assistance to incentivize the Ukrainians to cut some sort of deal, I’m afraid,” the unnamed advisor said.
Two Ukrainian officials also confirmed to POLITICO a report that said CIA Director William Burns told Zelensky during a visit to Kyiv in January that the next few months on the battlefield will be pivotal as military aid might be harder to come by.
The officials also said that Burns floated the idea of a ceasefire in Ukraine when he met with Russia’s spy chief, Sergey Naryshkin, in Ankara last November. But they didn’t offer any detail of what the ceasefire Burns discussed might look like.
The Zelensky advisor said concerns about US support still existed despite President Biden’s Monday visit to Kyiv, where he promised to back Ukraine for “as long as it takes” and announced nearly $500 million in new military aid.
The US is currently spending the $45 billion aid package that Congress approved in December as part of a massive omnibus spending bill. That aid is expected to last until the summer, and other reports have said the administration has conveyed to Ukraine that Congress might not approve aid packages at a similar level.
The administration cites Republican opposition for its concerns, but GOP leadership in Congress is still overwhelmingly in favor of arming Ukraine and is criticizing Biden for not sending more advanced weapons. And with Democratic opposition to the police non-existent, it seems likely that more massive aid packages for Ukraine could be passed.