“Careful optimism” ahead of vote on $61bn aid for Ukraine

Ahead of a vote in the US Congress, Ukraine’s prime minister in an interview with the BBC said that there will be a “Third World War” if Ukraine loses its conflict with Russia, as he urged the US Congress to pass a long-stalled foreign aid bill. Denys Shmyhal expressed “careful optimism” that US lawmakers would pass the hotly contested measure, which has $61bn (£49bn) earmarked for Kyiv, IPN reports.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday announced that the vote will be held in the evening of April 20.

President Joe Biden in a statement the same day said he would sign the package into law immediately once passed by Congress “to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends”.

Amid fears that the Ukrainian front line will be broken, IPN quoted NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană as saying that now “is a very difficult time in the war in Ukraine. But we must avoid the mistake of being too pessimistic, just as we are too optimistic about the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The Ukrainians, including with our support, are adapting to new dynamics on the ground. Kiev achieves significant successes. It pushed Russia’s Black Sea fleet from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, on the other side. It managed to resume grain exports. Ukraine is very inventive. But there is a great need for ammunition, air and missile defense.”

In the interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Shmyhal expressed confidence that Ukraine will resist. “Yes, we are tired and this is understandable, the war is in its third year, but we are waiting for weapons, ammunition to continue our fight.

“We are fighting for our lives, for our land, for our families. I can’t even imagine losing this war,” concluded Shmyhal.

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