"As long as it takes": National Security Council spokesman John Kirby vows continued support for Ukraine

The National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications says the United States will continue to support Ukraine “as best as we can” in its fight against Russia. 

“We are going to do everything we can, as we have now for going on eight months, to make sure that the Ukrainian armed forces have what they need in the field,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told “CBS Mornings” on Wednesday.     

“We’re going to stay at this,” he said. “You’ve heard the president talk about that. As long as it takes. We’re committed to that.”

While he echoed President Joe Biden’s message that the U.S. will not put troops on the ground in Ukraine, he said the U.S. is leading and coordinating international efforts to get additional weapons and capabilities to the country. 

He also noted that the U.S. is the largest contributor of financial and economic assistance for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine, as well as the largest contributor of security assistance.

The U.S. has kicked in nearly $100 billion in aid to Ukraine. 

Kirby noted that financial support for the country has received bipartisan support in Congress.

“I think everybody realizes what’s at stake here, which is more than just, you know, the town of Kherson or Kharkiv,” he said. “It’s really about this idea of sovereignty. And it’s really about what the security environment in Europe is going to look like going forward.”

But House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday reiterated criticism from Republicans regarding oversight on financial support for Ukraine, saying that the party won’t write a “blank check” should they take control of the House again, according to The Associated Press. 

Kirby insisted Wednesday that the White House’s support “has not been about writing blank checks for Ukraine.”

“This is about bipartisan support in Congress to continue to make sure that Ukraine can defend itself and it can stand up for its sovereignty,” he said. “Because that’s really what’s at stake here, aside of course from the literally hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian lives that have been affected by this war.”

He said the Biden administration will keeping working “hand in glove with Congress going forward” when it comes to additional financial support for the country. 

Tori B. Powell

Tori B. Powell is a breaking news reporter at CBS News. Reach her at [email protected]

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