WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden held a call with world leaders, European Union and NATO officials Tuesday in an effort to reassure them of continued U.S. support for Ukraine after a government funding bill omitted $6 billion in military assistance that the war-torn country said it urgently needed.
The leaders discussed the “ongoing work to align and broaden donor efforts to support Ukraine’s economic recovery, as well as to work together with the global community to address the energy, economic and food security challenges caused by Russia’s war of choice,” according to the White House.
Biden spoke with 11 leaders, including the prime ministers of Canada, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, and the presidents of Poland and Romania.
“Good call with NATO leaders hosted by the President of the United States,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “As Russia continues its brutal war, we are all committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
The call came in the aftermath of Congress passing a last-minute bill to avert a shutdown of the federal government on Sunday. The stopgap bill did not include new funding for Ukraine, reflecting diminishing support among Republicans over providing additional aid to Kyiv’s war effort.
“Speaker McCarthy and the majority of House Republicans must keep their word and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine as it defends itself,” President Biden wrote Tuesday on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We are the indispensable nation in the world — let’s act like it.”
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Tuesday the U.S. currently has enough funding authorities to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs but will need Congress to “act” to guarantee there is “no disruption in our support.”
“The president looks forward to working with Congress to ensure that we make good on our commitment,” Kirby said. “He has every expectation that Speaker McCarthy will keep his public commitment to secure the passage of the support needed to help Ukraine.”
Kirby added “the vast majority of Republicans in Congress” support aid for Ukraine.
“Supporting Ukraine strengthens our national security. It’s the right thing to do. Not just for the Ukrainian people, but for the American people as well,” Kirby said. “Countering Putin’s ability to wage war on a neighboring nation may actually prevent a larger conflict in which American troops might be needed.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that he had no doubt that Washington “will continue to be directly involved in the conflict,” while claiming that war fatigue in the West will lead to “fragmentation in the political establishment.”
So far, the U.S. has approved four rounds of aid to Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion, totaling about $113 billion. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Monday the U.S. will be sending another aid package to Ukraine “soon.”