Kirby: 'We're Going to Support Ukraine for As Long As It Takes…As Long As It Takes'

(CNSNews.com) – From both Republicans and Democrats on Sunday came a chorus of support for Ukraine — one day before President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he also emphasized continuing U.S. support for Ukraine, one year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked and vicious war.

The raging war has no end in sight, and that’s a problem for some members of both parties, although congressional support for Ukraine remains strong, to hear both sides tell it.

“We are going to stay committed to Ukraine going forward,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told “Fox News Sunday.”

He quoted President Biden as saying that the U.S. will “support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

“And I think when you see the president — when you see him go to Poland next week and Warsaw, he’ll make that case before the entire world and the Polish,” Kirby said.

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(Biden’s trip to Ukraine preceded his visit to Poland, but few people knew that would happen when Kirby spoke on Sunday.)

“It’s important for the solidarity to move forward, and we fully expect that it will. There’s no sign at all that NATO is cracking or there’s any fissures with our allies and partners. So, we’re going to move forward in that regard,” Kirby said.

Kirby pointed to the vast amount of military and financial support the United States (especially) and its NATO allies have provided and continue to provide to Ukraine:

“The first few days, as Kyiv was under threat, a lot of attention on things like Javelin anti-tank missiles. As the war — as he collapsed his geographic territory to the Donbas and the east, it was all long range fires, artillery, and these HIMARS.

“Now, air defense is really critical because he’s using cruise missiles and Iranian drones to strike civilian infrastructure.

“So, we’re going to keep evolving as the war evolves, and we’re in lockstep with Ukrainians, talking to them almost every day about what they need.”

Kirby noted that the Biden administration has enjoyed “terrific bipartisan support, bicameral and bipartisan, on Capitol Hill…and we fully expect that that will continue.”

No end in sight

Asked how the war comes to an end, Kirby said, “It could end today…if Mr. Putin would do the right thing and pull his troops out of Ukraine, where they don’t belong in the first place. Obviously, from the reporting of your correspondents on the ground, that doesn’t appear to be in the offing anytime soon. Mr. Putin shows no sign of being willing to stop this war.”

Kirby also repeated the administration’s line that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “gets to determine if and when he’s ready to sit down and negotiate with Mr. Putin and under what circumstances.”

The U.S. remains focused on ensuring that Ukraine has what it needs to succeed on the battlefield “so that if it comes to a negotiation or when, that he can succeed at the negotiating table, as well. But he has to determine what the timing is right and what the circumstances are.”

Kirby said the administration would like to see the war end as soon as possible, but only on terms that satisfy the Ukrainian people.

“And independence is ideal that all Americans can get behind and understand. We’d like it to end soon, as possible. My goodness, nobody wants to be sitting here a year from now, talking about the second anniversary of war.”

“But as the president has said, Shannon, we’re going to support Ukraine for as long as it takes and he means that — as long as it takes.”

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