President Biden said Wednesday the world is united in supporting Ukraine and making Russia President Vladimir Putin pay a “very heavy price” for the invasion.
“The world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price,” Biden said in a White House address, a few hour after Ukrainian President Zelenskyy directly asked Congress for more U.S. support.
“America is leading this effort together with our allies and partners. We’re going to continue to do more in the days and weeks ahead crippling Putin’s economy with punishing sanctions that’s only going to grow more painful over time.”
Biden described Zelenskyy’s speech to Congress as a “passionate message.”
He said Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have demonstrated “remarkable courage and strength” in the face of brutal aggression.
He characterized the Russian invasion as “God awful.”
Biden said the new U.S. aid package of $800 million for Ukraine will help Ukraine defend its airspace and includes 9,000 anti-armor systems or “shoulder mounted missiles” to combat Russian tanks.
“That bring the total of new U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to $1 billion just this week,” he said. “This new package on its own is going to provide unprecedented assistance to Ukraine.”
The latest round of funding is part of the $13.6 billion emergency assistance for Ukraine that was contained in the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress passed last week. Biden has signed it into law.
Biden added that the U.S. and its allies would provide “cutting-edge” weapons including drones to Ukraine.
“I want to be honest with you. This could be a long and difficult battle but the American people will be steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine,” he said.
In addition to weapons and humanitarian support, Biden vowed to continue to provide “direct financial support” for Ukraine’s economy.
“We’ll do everything we can to push for and end this tragic unnecessary war,” he said.