Ukraine's Zelensky dismisses Russian claims of scaleback

Ukraine’s Zelensky asks Biden for more support

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Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he had a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss financial support and sanctions for Russia as his country faces a mounting shock.

“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.

U.S. lawmakers have pledged another $10 billion in aid packages, but the White House has so far ruled out an oil ban, fearing it would push up prices and hurt U.S. consumers already stung by record inflation.

Arms, ammunition and funds are pouring 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.

While visiting Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border over the weekend, US Secretary of State Antony said that Washington was seeking $2.75 billion to help address the humanitarian crisis unfolding as nearly 1.4 million civilians flee. 

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