US warns Ukraine that now is its best chance to change course of war – WP

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Biden officials have warned Ukrainian leaders that despite promises to back Ukraine “as long as it takes,” the recent western aid packages are their best chance to change the course of the war, Washington Post reports.

The strong bipartisan support for previous Ukraine aid packages was under a Democratic-led House and Senate; now, there are no guarantees that the Biden administration’s requests for funding will get past Congress with the Republican-led House, while Europe’s willingness to keep funding Ukraine’s defense remains unclear, the media reports.

“We will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever,” one senior administration official was quoted as saying.

Biden officials believe that spring will be a pivotal moment in the war as Russia is expected to launch an offensive and Ukraine mounts a counteroffensive.

Senior US officials have conveyed the critical nature of these next months to Kyiv in “blunt terms” but Biden is eager to avoid any sign of weakening resolve, WP writes.

Biden and his aides have warned that the political support for helping Ukraine will get harder once Ukraine exhausts the current congressional package, which could happen in the summer.

The Biden administration has made an effort to bring Ukraine’s goals in line with what the West can support as the war approaches its one-year anniversary on 24 February. An example of such a conflict is Ukraine’s prioritization of defending Bakhmut, while US officials urge to preserve resources to launch a spring counteroffensive.

Against a backdrop of concerns that the war will drag on for long, “Biden’s aides say they are pursuing the best course of action: empowering Ukraine to retake as much territory as possible in coming months before sitting down with Putin at the negotiating table,” WP writes.

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