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Congress announced the end of funds for Ukraine, Zelensky addresses the US Senate

Congress announced the end of funds for Ukraine, Zelensky addresses the US

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the US Senate on Tuesday, amid intense efforts by the White House to persuade Congress to urgently approve additional funding that Ukraine needs to defend itself against Russian aggression.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said President Zelenskyy had been invited to attend a confidential session virtually so that, he said, senators "could hear directly from him about the importance" of the bill providing billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine. .

Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young warned in a letter to congressional leaders on Monday that by the end of the year, the United States will run out of funds to send weapons and aid to Ukraine.

She adds that this means that Ukraine "will no longer be able to continue fighting."

In October, President Joe Biden's administration asked Congress to approve nearly $106 billion to fund the White House's ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and border security in the United States.

Funding for Ukraine has become a topic of political debate, as some Republican lawmakers in Congress, controlled by a slight majority of their party, oppose aid to Ukraine.

However, Ms. Young says in the letter released by the White House that cutting off funding and weapons to Ukraine would benefit Russia on the battlefield.

"I want to be clear: if Congress does not act, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to buy more weapons and equipment for Ukraine, to secure equipment from the US military stockpile," Ms. Young wrote.

Meanwhile, representatives of the EU's 27 member states are meeting on Tuesday to discuss the chances of opening Ukraine's EU membership talks, according to officials and diplomats.

The meeting marks the beginning of preparations for the high-level meeting of the leaders of member states on December 14-15, where an assessment will be given of the prospects of EU integration for Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Bosnia and other countries.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has requested that Ukraine's membership in the European Union not be included in the program of the EU meeting.

In a letter to European Council President Charles Michel, who will chair the meeting in Brussels, Mr Orban insisted that a "strategic discussion" on Ukraine's European future must first take place and warned that insisting on getting a the decision could destroy the unity of the EU.

Prime Minister Orban, widely regarded as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies in Europe, says Ukraine is "light years away" from EU membership.

He called on EU leaders to "avoid this counterproductive scenario for the sake of unity, our most important value."

He did not explicitly say that Hungary would veto a possible move to open membership talks with Ukraine, but such a possibility was implied.

Decisions about EU membership and the EU's long-term budget, which includes $54.1 billion in aid to Kiev, can only be taken by consensus of the 27 member states.

Russia's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the country's air defense systems destroyed or intercepted at least 35 Ukrainian drones.

The ministry said on the Telegram platform that it prevented Ukrainian attacks on the Crimean Peninsula and the Sea of ​​Azov.

Ukraine's military said on Tuesday that Russia launched overnight strikes with 17 Iranian-made Shahed drones and that Ukrainian air defenses destroyed 10 of them.

The military also said Russia fired six missiles aimed at the Donetsk and Kherson regions.

Some information for this article is from the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters./ VOA

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