(Bloomberg) -- US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy that his administration would move quickly to distribute security assistance if the Senate votes this week to approve an aid package including $61 billion for Kyiv.

During a call Monday, Biden said the US aims to swiftly ship the battlefield and air defense assistance, the White House said in a statement. The administration has already begun preparing a package that could head to Ukraine as soon as the president signs the bill into law, a US official said last week.

Ukraine has lost ground in its efforts to hold back Russia’s invading forces in recent months as military assistance from the US has dried up. House Speaker Mike Johnson has struggled to navigate opposition to further Ukraine aid from some hardliners in his razor-thin Republican majority. Even with the expected additional US aid, it could be weeks before new assistance hits the front lines.

Still, Zelenskiy on Sunday said the assistance “will really strengthen the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Read more: Zelenskiy Cheers US Aid as Kyiv Looks to Retake Initiative

“We did lose the initiative,” Zelenskiy said in an interview with NBC News. “Now we have all the chance to stabilize the situation and to overtake the initiative.”  

The two leaders also discussed US economic assistance that aims to help Ukraine maintain financial stability during the war, the White House said.


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