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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: Russia is increasing its missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and the White House expects Moscow to target energy facilities as winter approaches, national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday.

Kirby said U.S. President Joe Biden, who will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the White House on Tuesday, would continue to make the case for Congress to approve more aid for Ukraine.

He said Washington also expected to announce additional military aid for Ukraine before the end of the month.

“We don’t have too many more weeks left in this year to be able to provide security assistance, so I would fully expect that you’re going to see us announce additional security assistance before the end of the month.” he told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Russia says it thwarted Ukrainian drone and missile attack

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said Biden and top White House officials were in close and frequent touch with lawmakers about the urgency of approving about $50 billion in new security assistance for Ukraine.

“Our own national security is at stake in Ukraine. Putin has indicated that if he is successful there, he has designs on other Eastern European countries who are members of NATO, and who we are obligated to defend,” Bates told reporters.

“It would be infinitely more expensive in every way not to act on this supplemental” funding, he said.

Biden would make clear to Zelenskiy that he was standing firm on the need to ensure passage of the supplemental funding request despite questions raised by many Republican lawmakers over continued aid to Ukraine.

The next round of Ukraine aid has been held up by a demand from House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republicans that no more funds be dispatched unless steps are first taken to harden the U.S. border with Mexico.

On Sunday, a senior administration official said the White House has been working with House Republican leaders to find common ground, but the talks have not developed to a point where Biden’s direct intervention could close the deal.

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