Zelensky face tests to re-energise West’s support for Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky has had a brief, but intense-looking – conversation with the man threatening to block Ukraine’s EU aspirations.

He met Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the inauguration of Argentina’s new president on Sunday.

Mr Orban has vocally opposed progressing Kyiv’s application to join the EU.

There are now fears that the incident could mean a diplomatic debacle later this week.

Only professional lip-readers might understand what was said between President Zelensky and a man widely seen as an EU “bad boy”.

But the exchange comes ahead of what could be a crucial week for Ukraine’s war effort.

President Zelensky will head to Washington DC on Tuesday as he seeks to rescue a $60bn (£47.9bn; €55bn) US defence aid package.

US President Joe Biden is urging lawmakers to approve the funds, but the aid has become embroiled in domestic, partisan politics.

It will be the Ukrainian leader’s second visit to the White House since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 – the previous one was in September last year.

The package is currently stalled in Congress, facing pushback from Republicans who argue that more money should be going to domestic security at the US-Mexico border.

A vote in the Senate last week saw a package which included the funding blocked.


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