Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says Black Sea corridor in doubt without US aid

As Russia’s war in Ukraine hit the two-year mark Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview to CNN commented about US aid to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that without new US military aid his country would be unable to defend a Black Sea shipping corridor that has allowed Kyiv to export millions of tons of grain to global markets.

But he warned that if the US did not approve a new security aid, then the future of the shipping corridor would be in doubt.

“I think the route will be closed…because to defend it, it’s also about some ammunition, some air defense, and some other systems,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

“Ukraine’s success moving forward will depend on U.S. aid,” he noted.

Ukraine has already exported more than 22 million tonnes of cargo since the creation of a temporary sea corridor, known as Ukrainian corridor, six months ago. Since August, more than 700 vessels have used it.

To remind, Kyiv established the corridor to allow the shipping of critical commodities, especially grains, from its ports after Moscow in July pulled out the United Nations-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative.

“Millions” could die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request for Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told CNN on Sunday.

Zelenskyy’s comments come as his country faces setbacks on the battlefield and is struggling to secure more aid from its Western partners.

The Ukrainian president said that without US aid, Ukraine will not only struggle to make any new gains on the battlefield, but it will also find it difficult to keep defending itself this year.

“People will be prepared, but ammunition will not be prepared, and brigades will not be ready… not only for our counter-offensive, they will not be ready to defend, to stay strong. It will be very difficult,” he said.

Asked by CNN about a claim made by the US Senator J.D. Vance that the outcome of the war would not change even if Ukraine receives the money, Zelenskyy said he wasn’t sure Vance “understands what is going on here.”

“To understand it is to come to the front line to see what’s going on, to speak with the people, then to go to civilians to understand … what will (happen to) them without this support. And he will understand that millions … will be killed. It’s a fact,” Zelenskyy said.

“Of course he doesn’t understand, God bless you don’t have the war on your territory,” he added.