Zelensky pushes Biden for more US support to Ukraine

Zelensky pushes Biden for more US support to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he spoke by phone with his US counterpart Joe Biden to discuss financial support and sanctions against Russia as his country faces an intensifying onslaught.

"As part of the constant dialogue, I had another conversation with @POTUS," Zelensky tweeted. "The agenda included the issues of security, financial support for Ukraine and the continuation of sanctions against Russia."

In a readout on the half-hour call, the White House said Biden had emphasised steps his administration and allies have taken "to raise the costs on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine".

He also highlighted efforts by private companies, such as payment giants Visa and MasterCard, to freeze out Moscow by suspending operations in the wake of the February 24 invasion.

Hours earlier, the Ukrainian leader had addressed US lawmakers by video call, pleading for further assistance to his besieged country and a blacklisting of Russian oil imports.

The American legislators promised an additional $10 billion aid package, but the White House has so far ruled out an oil ban, fearing it would ratchet up prices and hurt US consumers already stung by record inflation.

Weapons, ammunition and funds have poured into Ukraine from Western allies, which have also imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow.

Washington last week authorised $350 million of military equipment for Kyiv -- the largest such package in US history.-AFP