Zelenskyy ‘confident’ US and EU funding will come through

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine's president, during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. Zelenskiy said he's confident the US won't "betray" the war-battered country as $61 billion is held up by a political standoff in Washington. Photographer: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr said he was confident the United States and European Union would agree to provide funding packages that are currently stuck in limbo due to political opposition.

Zelenskyy gave a wide-ranging press conference Tuesday afternoon in which he took a host of questions from reporters for more than an hour.

I am confident the United States will not let us down and what we have agreed will be agreed in full,” he said, according to a live BBC translation. “As for the European Union, the stakes were very high, we have acquired one victory as to the EU, as for the 50 billion [euro financing package] I am confident we can achieve all of that.”

Zelenskyy separately said military leaders had asked for an additional 450,000 to 500,000 people to be mobilized into the army, but stressed that he required more arguments and a “comprehensive” plan before approving the costly move.

In response to a question about the difficulties faced by Ukraine this year, he stressed that Russia had failed to achieve its aims.

He said Ukraine had seen a “big victory on the Black Sea” where it was able to trade again and Russian vessels had been withdrawn.

Asked whether Ukraine was beginning to lose the war, he replied: “No.”

However, he did discuss the shortage of items including artillery shells, ammunition for air defense and anti-tank grenades.

— Jenni Reid

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