U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a veiled rebuke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, stating that the American people “deserve a degree of gratitude” for their help for war-torn country Ukraine.
Sullivan, speaking at an event on the sidelines of this year’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit, made these remarks in response to Zelensky’s tweet on Tuesday in which he blasted NATO members for not setting a time frame for considering Ukraine’s membership in the collective security body.
Zelensky called it “unprecedented and absurd.”
The Ukrainian leader also said that his country “deserves respect.”
“I think the American people do deserve a degree of gratitude from the United States government for their willingness to step up and from the rest of the world as well.”U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
Why It Matters
The perception of Zelensky being ungrateful for tremendous U.S. support comes at a critical moment in the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia faces domestic uncertainty in the wake of the short-lived Wagner mutiny, but Ukraine’s counteroffensive is going slowly.
In response, the Biden administration approved the transfer of cluster bombs to Ukraine. While defending that move in an interview broadcast on Sunday, President Joe Biden disclosed that the U.S. was running low on stockpiles of 155 mm ammunition.
The U.S. leads the world in aid to Ukraine, having provided tens of billions of dollars in military and other support since the Russian invasion last year. Since last year, conservative politicians and commentators, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Tucker Carlson, have relentlessly criticized Zelensky, calling him an ingrate. Zelensky’s tweet yesterday is likely to amplify those perceptions.
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