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US lawmakers promise Zelensky to unlock $10 billion in aid

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Lawmakers in the US Congress on Saturday promised to unlock $10 billion in aid for Ukraine, half going to the military, in a virtual meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We will quickly unlock that ten billion dollars to help the Ukrainian people economically, humanitarian and security,” said Chuck Schumer, Democratic leader in the Senate, according to a source familiar with the meeting held via Zoom.

“Lawmakers in the Senate and House, Republicans and Democrats, joined the call. We are united in support of Ukraine,” Republican Senator Steve Daines told Fox News. “We have to vote for this ten billion aid, which would be half humanitarian, half military,” he added.

For his part, President Zelensky called for the tightening of economic sanctions against Russia, especially the ban on imports of Russian oil and gas, as well as Russia’s suspension of Visa and Mastercard credit cards, according to the representatives.

He also “launched a call for Eastern European countries to provide him with Russian-made aircraft (…) and I would do everything possible for the administration to facilitate his transfer,” Chuck Schumer added in a statement.

“There are planes available in some NATO countries that the Ukrainians know how to fly, but it seems that the United States is part of the problem and not part of the solution,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, however, in a video on Twitter.

“Let’s give them the planes and drones they need,” he continued without further explanation.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, declared last Sunday that the European Union states were willing to deliver MiG-type fighter planes, which Ukrainian pilots know how to handle, but the countries involved, including Bulgaria, Poland or Slovakia showed more restraint.

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