Op/Ed

Editorial: Biden’s message to Ukraine: ‘We will stay with you as long as it takes’

ANGELO LYNN

As thoughts of Christmas fill our hearts at home, it’s impossible not to also think of Ukraine’s courageous fight against Russia’s brutal aggression. It is in so many ways a battle that exemplifies hope over despair, light over darkness, courage in the face of Russia’s cowardly bombing of civilians and the infrastructure that shelters them.

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the White House and Capitol this Wednesday, on the 300th day of Russia’s invasion, was designed to highlight that message as well as Ukraine’s determination to prevail. For President Biden, his message was to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to stand by their side as long as needed to help Ukraine be victorious.

President Biden also used the occasion to announce a new $1.85 billion security assistance package that will include the Patriot missile system to defend against Russia’s aerial bombing of Ukraine’s electrical grid and key infrastructure. Zelensky’s visit to the Capitol comes just ahead of a congressional vote on the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package that includes another $44.9 billion in emergency security and economic assistance for Ukraine — an important provision that will provide essential aid to help Ukrainians survive their harsh winter.

In their mutual effort to strengthen the personal bonds that ties the two leaders together, the visit was remarkable and will surely help Congress pass the bill with bipartisan support. But it also helps strengthen the ties Americans are to have with the Ukrainian people. Americans understand the need to fight tyranny for freedom is universal. In this battle, a half a world away, Zelensky’s visit puts a human face to their bravery and suffering, helping Americans know the aid we send is not only greatly appreciated but worth giving.

As the winter rages, Vermonters and all Americans should keep their plight in mind and help to the degree each of us can.

Angelo Lynn

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