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US credibility is on the line in Ukraine funding debate

By CHRIS MEGERIAN |

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Joe Biden’s favorite stories is about his first international summit after taking office, when he declared that “America is back” in the wake of Donald Trump’s erratic and isolationist leadership.

It’s a question that echoes this week as Biden struggles to secure congressional support for continuing American assistance to Ukraine. Even though he’s repeatedly promised that the United States would back Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat the Russian invasion, there’s no sign of a bipartisan deal to maintain the flow of supplies as the war approaches its third year.

A hastily arranged trip to Washington by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, including a White House visit on Tuesday, did not appear to jolt lawmakers out of their inaction.

European Union foreign policy Chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. Pressure mounted on Hungary on Monday not to veto the opening of European Union membership talks and the supply of economic aid to war-torn Ukraine at a pivotal EU summit this week, after Prime Minister Viktor Orban demanded that the issue be struck from the agenda. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Pressure mounts on Hungary to unblock EU membership talks and funds for Ukraine

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The stakes are highest in Ukraine, which faces dwindling supplies of the artillery shells and air defense munitions needed to repel Russian advances. But also hanging in the balance is the kind of U.S. credibility that Biden pledged to restore. Failure to approve new funding would undermine a central plank of the Democratic president’s foreign policy, turning a parable of American resolve into a cautionary tale about American instability.

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