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Zelenskyy applies funding pressure on Washington by announcing visit

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Ukraine’s pressure tactics have thwarted open dialogue within the United States
Congress must hold a vigorous debate before approving additional funding for Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Washington next week – so said a breaking news headline in the New York Times this week.

For most Americans deeply concerned about the Ukraine war and its unknown aftermath, the news was neither unexpected nor was it breaking.

A highly skilled politician, Zelenskyy has been the star draw in world capitals for at least six months. Western leaders who face skepticism at home can treat themselves to photo opportunities with a historical figure and, by listening to Zelenskyy’s eloquent pleas for help, can hope to neutralize political opposition in their districts. In return, Zelenskyy mops up commitments to receive more military and financial aid.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit
President Biden attends a G7 leaders session on Ukraine with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, Sunday, May 21, 2023 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Official Photo by Adam Schultz)

The world appreciates and respects the brave fortitude of the men and women fighting in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy often emphasizes this point to assure Western leaders that Ukraine is fighting on their behalf to safeguard global democracy, but many Americans find the Ukrainian government’s pressure tactics unwarranted.

Any criticism of Ukraine is instantly met with a torrent of rebukes in Kyiv. The suppression has been so effective that Nation Magazine used an unusual term recently, previously reserved for LGBTQ members when they faced discrimination – “coming out of a closet.” In its “Advocates for Negotiations to End the Ukraine War Need to Come Out of the Closet” piece, the magazine said that there’s evidence that the taboo on negotiations might finally be weakening.

It is extraordinary that people who advocate for peace in a conflict that could trigger World War III should be quarantined in a closet like the plague has hit them. Even people who make aspirational mentions of a peace deal will be canceled or severely criticized. The message is clear: The world must support Ukraine on Ukraine’s terms – any other idea risks being branded as belonging to a group of pro-Putin sympathizers.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who, along with former President George W. Bush and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, developed warm relations with President Putin when Russia was a member of the G8, experienced this first-hand last month. The New York Times reported that Sarkozy called reversing Russia’s annexation of Crimea “illusory.” Sarkozy also ruled out Ukraine joining the European Union or NATO because it must remain “neutral” and insisted that Russia and France “need each other.”

Rather than be open to comments from a senior statesman who was once the head of state of a country that continues to pump billions in aid to Ukraine, Sarkozy’s comments “provoked outrage” from the Ukrainian ambassador to France. Sarkozy’s comments were reasonable:

  • Given how the counteroffensive is failing, is it realistic for Ukraine to evict Russia from Crimea?
  • France and Russia have traded for centuries – why shouldn’t they need each other anymore?
  • Why shouldn’t a former president of France be concerned about the rising living costs for his fellow citizens, most of which can be traced to Russian sanctions?
  • When French companies were forced to withdraw from Russia, how many employees were affected?

The Biden administration is pushing for an emergency bill to send $24 billion to Ukraine – on top of the $46 billion passed during the dying moments of the Democratic-led House last December. Zelenskyy is visiting to help cement that package. But, no, we do not want Congress to rubber-stamp yet another funding request. Instead, we should have a vigorous debate on the House floor after the country has heard testimonies from experts who have been critical of the war, such as John Mearsheimer and Col. Doug McGregor.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

We need honest answers to simple questions before the funding bill is approved. Why are we prosecuting an “as long as it takes” war? How long is “as long?” One year? Two years? Ten years? What are the realistic end goals here? For world peace, why shouldn’t Ukraine be neutral? How much responsibility does the West bear for triggering and prolonging the war?  How much more destruction – the dead, the wounded, the refugee resettlements, sky-high fuel prices, food shortages – should the world have to bear before peace talks are initiated?

At every turn, Zelenskyy is fond of saying that Ukraine is fighting Russia to save world democracy. Shouldn’t Ukraine also allow for a democratic debate in the People’s House, especially when Kyiv depends on U.S. funding at a time when America’s debt levels are exploding and there are significant priorities at home?

Welcome to Washington, President Zelenskyy. But this time, please be open to other constructive ideas. Because for 19 months, your ideas leave much to be desired.

Related Data/Infographics

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit
Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit
Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

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TIPP Takes

Geopolitics And Geoeconomics

1. U.S. Set To Send Long-Range Missiles For Ukraine – Infographics – Tippinsights

The Biden administration has until now rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s requests for the long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems known as ATACMS, which Kyiv says it needs to make major advances against Russia.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

But, the slow progress of Ukraine’s spring and summer counteroffensive has underscored the need for additional weapons capabilities.


2. EU Ends Ban On Ukraine Grain Exports To Neighbouring Countries – WION

In May, the EU restricted grain imports to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia. They sought to protect their farmers who held the imports responsible for a price drop on local markets.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

The European Commission stated that they took the decision after Kyiv decided to implement measures such as an export licensing system within 30 days to “avoid grain surges.”


3. Kyiv Says Russia Is Hunting For Ukrainian Warplanes Used In Crimea Strikes – Reuters

Kyiv said a Russian drone attack overnight on a region that hosts a Ukrainian military airfield showed Moscow was searching for warplanes involved in strikes this week on Russian-occupied Crimea.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

Ukraine said it conducted a missile strike on a shipyard in Crimea’s port of Sevastopol early on Wednesday and seriously damaged two naval vessels.


4. Russia’s Defense Minister Shows Bombers And Missiles To Kim During Last Leg Of Trip – WION

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly took the North Korean leader to the Vladivostok airport, where he was shown Russia’s nuclear-capable strategic bombers and other warplanes.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with Kim Jong-un

Kim was also presented with the Hypersonic Kinzhal missile, along with three models of strategic bombers—The Tu-160, Tu-95, and Tu-22M3.


5. South Korea, U.S. Warn Pyongyang, Moscow’s Military Cooperation Violates UNSC Resolutions – Yonhap

South Korea and the U.S. warned that military cooperation between North Korea and Russia violates U.N. Security Council resolutions and will come at a cost during a high-level deterrence dialogue.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

The U.S. reaffirms any nuclear attack by the North against Washington or its allies, including South Korea, would be “unacceptable and result in the end of that regime,” Jenkins said.


6. IAEA Chief Rules Out Russia Engaging In Nuclear Weapons Technology Trade With N. Korea – Yonhap

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said he doesn’t believe that Russia, recognized in the Nonproliferation Treaty, “would engage in trade or transfer of any nuclear weapons technology to a country which is by de facto outside the regime.”

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi

Grossi also insisted Russia, in its dealings with North Korea, was aware of its obligations as a permanent United Nations Security Council member.


7. China ‘Investigating’ Missing Defense Minister Li Shangfu: Reports – RFA

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu is reportedly being investigated by the ruling Chinese Communist Party after being out of the public eye since Aug. 29, according to several media reports.

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Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu

Li is the second senior Chinese official to go missing after the recent disappearance of former Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

Reuters quoted “10 people familiar with the matter” as saying Li is being probed for corrupt procurement of military equipment without specifying the equipment involved.


8. U.S. Believes China Nixed Spy Balloon Operations After February Shoot-Down – DCNF

U.S. intelligence believe China has suspended all surveillance balloon operations since the U.S. shoot-down of a high-altitude spy balloon in February further inflamed tensions between the great powers.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

No new launches have taken place since the incident, the officials told CNN.

China continues to deny the existence of a global spy balloon program, maintaining the balloon was a civilian-operated weather airship blown off course by strong winds.


9. China Sees ‘Cold War Mentality’ In U.S.-Vietnam Pact, Vietnamese Disagree – Al Jazeera

Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden upgraded diplomatic relations to their highest level by signing a comprehensive strategic partnership equal to Beijing’s relations with Vietnam.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

When asked about this, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning advised Washington to discard its “hegemonic and Cold War mentality.”

Mao said Washington should “abide by basic norms governing international relations” when dealing with Asian nations.


10. Biden Admin To Negotiate With CCP-Linked TikTok — Despite Previous Threats To Ban It: Report – DCNF

The Biden administration called for TikTok to divest itself from its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance or face a potential ban in the United States, The Wall Street Journal reported in March.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

However, negotiations between the two entities will resume following concerns regarding the administration’s authority to impose a TikTok ban, the Post reported on Friday.


11. EU Probe Into Chinese EVs – Infographics – Tippinsights

The EU is considering imposing punitive tariffs on China’s electric car imports. The prices of Chinese EVs are kept artificially low by massive state subsidies – more than €53 billion between 2017 and 2022.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

While the average price of a new electric car in China since 2011 has fallen from €41,800 to €22,100 in 2021, the average price in the European Union has increased from €33,300 in 2012 to above €45,000 last year.


12. Britain Officially Designates Russia’s Wagner Group As A Terror Organization – UPI

Britain officially designated the Wagner mercenary group as a terror organization, becoming the latest addition to a 78-strong list that includes al-Qaida, ISIS, Hamas, and the Irish Republican Army.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

13. Honda Launches Cute, Compact Urban E-Scooter – Infographics – Tippinsights

Resembling a sleek piece of luggage when stored, Honda’s new $995 foldable Motocompacto electric scooter is an homage to its 1980s petrol engine sibling.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

Capable of reaching 15 miles per hour and with a range of 12 miles, the Motocompacto features a folding seat, handlebars, and rear wheel and will cost $995 when it launches in November 2023.


14. Libyan Official Rejects Blame For Flood Disaster – BBC

A spokesperson for the Benghazi-based government in eastern Libya, has denied allegations that many of those killed in devastating floods last weekend were told to stay in their homes.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

He denied that people were told not to evacuate but conceded some may have felt the threat was exaggerated. Death tolls that have been provided vary from around 6,000 up to 11,000.


15. Cocaine Set To Become Colombia’s Main Export Soon, Says Report – WION

Cocaine will overtake oil to become Colombia’s main export item this year as the government strengthens the fight against drug trafficking.

Zelenskyy Applies Funding Pressure On Washington By Announcing Visit

According to a report by Bloomberg, Colombia’s oil exports posted a drop of 30 percent in the first half, and the revenue from cocaine has constantly gone up.

A week back, Colombian President Gustavo Petro proposed a Latin-American alliance to bring a unified voice to the fight against drug trafficking.


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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights

1 Comment

  1. And here I thought I remembered that one of Biden’s campaign promises that helped get him elected was that he was going to get America out of all wars!! So he seriously botched the Afghanistan departure and then got us into financing another war in Ukraine. I can’t help but feel like Biden is in this partly to cover his own political and personal ass!!! Just another lie from President Biden!!!

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