Mr. Zelensky Zooms Into Washington
Russian officials denied reports early this morning that they are close to an agreement that could end the conflict. A news report on Wednesday night from The Financial Times suggested the agreement would make Ukraine a neutral state with its own army. Despite that small glimmer of hope, the war rages on.
Meanwhile in D.C.
Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday pleading for more U.S. aid. President Biden committed to an additional $800 million in “security assistance.” According to the Wall Street Journal, this will include 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 1,000 light anti-armor weapons, 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems, 7,000 small arms like machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of ammunition and thousands of helmets and body armor.
While the West continues to sanction Russian businesses, including gas, Norway says that it will ramp up gas production through this summer in order to keep up with Europe’s needs in the absence of Russian oil.
Due to sanctions, many Western-owned airlines are still inside of Russia and companies cannot go in and get them out. Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing finders-keepers with the planes.
The Kremlin will now allow the planes to be registered in Russia to be flown by other airlines. By some accounts, there are over 500 planes worth $10 billion that the airlines will have to write off of their books if this becomes permanent.