In a meeting in Washington on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised delegates from Kyiv, including President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aide Andriy Yermak, that the United States would continue funding Ukraine through what could be another difficult winter.

“The Secretary spoke with Mr. Yermak this morning about steps we can take together with Ukraine to harden its infrastructure for the upcoming winter,” State Dept. spokesperson Matthew Miller said in his daily briefing. “We of course last winter saw Russia trying to take down energy sites in Ukraine. They may very well do that again.”

US President Joe Biden has met stiff resistance from Republican legislators about his proposals to fund Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars. The State Department reassured its Ukrainian guests that the White House is committed to continue sending that aid.

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“In all of our conversations with the Ukrainian government, we make clear that we will continue to stand by them, that we will continue to back them,” Miller said.

In a social media post, Yermak thanked the Secretary for his “personal commitment to Ukraine,” and said he was “touched” by the Halloween costumes worn by Blinken’s children at a trick-or-treat event at the White House: His son went dressed as Zelensky, in his unmistakable combat fatigues, while his daughter draped herself in the Ukrainian blue-and-yellow, AFP reported.

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Blinken was on a brief stop back in the US between visits to Asia and the Middle East.

The Ukrainian delegation is being led by Economic Minister Yulia Svyrydenko and plans to discuss “the President’s formula for peace, strengthening Ukraine’s defense, comprehensively deepening our cooperation and many other important topics,” Yermak had said. The group is also planning to meet with members of Congress.

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