How Zelenskyy helped Biden, and how Biden avoided helping Zelenskyy — Piontkovsky

24 December 2022, 11:56 PM
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On December 21, Zelensky spoke in front of the U.S. Congress (Photo:REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

On December 21, Zelensky spoke in front of the U.S. Congress (Photo:REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech in the U.S. Congress made a great impression, and it helped U.S. President Joe Biden strengthen his position against attacks from Republicans, Andrey Piontkovsky, Russian political scientist and publicist, has said in his latest opinion column.

Piontkovsky said he was sure that Biden invited Zelenskyy to Washington not only for a personal meeting, but also so the Ukrainian president could speak to congressmen on the eve of the changes in the U.S. Congress after the recent elections.

“He needed this speech in Congress by Zelenskyy before the recent Congress elections took effect — before there is a Republican majority,” Piontkovsky wrote.

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“The attacks of the Trumpist wing of the Republican Party on Biden’s policy regarding aid to Ukraine have intensified. In this regard, of course, Zelenskyy’s speech made a great impression. We saw him interrupted by standing ovations countless times, and that helped Biden strengthen his position against attacks from conservative Republicans,” Piontkovsky wrote.

The announcement of the transfer of the Patriot air defense system was a positive result for Kyiv, which Ukraine has long aimed for. However, when asked by a Ukrainian journalist why the United States doesn’t provide long-range ATACMS rockets that would help stop the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure, Biden gave an evasive answer, the publicist noted.

“He explained that he could not agree to the maximum program of providing weapons to Ukraine because, according to him, it would violate the unity of the West, the unity of NATO and the EU. That is, Biden made it clear that not all U.S. NATO allies would agree to such a decision. Well, this was a rather controversial thesis on his part,” Piontkovky said.

Biden clarified that the United States wants to help Ukraine, but does not want an escalation of the conflict and a possible Third World War.

“It turns out that Putin is thus allowed to escalate the conflict to the level of genocide of the Ukrainian people, and the West is afraid to respond by providing Ukraine with missiles capable of reaching the depths of Russian territory. This is a very weak and unconvincing Western position,” Piontkovsky said.

President Zelenskyy went to Washington on a surprise trip on Dec. 21 — his first foreign visit since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

He met with President Biden and also addressed the U.S. Congress. On the same day, the United States announced a package of $1.85 billion in aid to Ukraine, which for the first time includes the Patriot air defense system.

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