EBritish Foreign Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday in Washington that he did not come with the intention of lecturing anyone. He doesn't want to tell anyone what to do. Rather, he is a “great friend” of the United States. But the intention with which the Brit is traveling in the country these days is unmistakable.

Sofia Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

After meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, both men called on Congress to approve further aid to Ukraine. It is “deeply” in America’s interest to release the money, Cameron said. Joe Biden's request to Congress is “urgent,” Blinken had previously said.

Cameron's visit to the United States began on Monday in Florida, where he met former President Donald Trump before traveling on to Washington. The British side assured that it was not unusual that Cameron also had an interview with the prospective Republican presidential candidate. In an election year, it is customary to include opposition leaders on official visits in the calendar.

“Divisive, stupid and wrong”

Cameron once criticized Trump's political ideas with harsh words. In 2015, while still as British Prime Minister, he called then-presidential candidate Trump's promises to impose an entry ban on Muslims “divisive, stupid and wrong.”

On Tuesday, the British Foreign Minister did not want to comment in detail about the meeting in Mar-a-Lago, saying it was “private”. “A range of important global political issues” were discussed. Cameron did not respond to the question of whether Trump had accommodated him with aid to Ukraine. He emphasized that he would meet senators and representatives from both parties in Washington. But despite Cameron's wishes, there was no meeting with the key figure in the dispute over further aid for Kiev, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson. In a video on social networks last week, the Briton said that it was Johnson who could “get Ukraine aid passed in Congress.”

The British Foreign Secretary combines his repeated calls for the United States to end its block on further financial aid to Ukraine with warnings about external impact. He also spoke in Washington about the need to show unity. “There will be people in Tehran, Pyongyang and Beijing who will look at how close we are with our allies, how we help them.” Perhaps “nothing is more important” than American approval of new aid to Ukraine.

Do Democrats and Republicans agree?

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose right wing categorically rejects aid to Kiev, responded to a similar appeal from the British Foreign Secretary in February with the rude request that he could kiss her backside. Blinken, on the other hand, emphasized on Tuesday that the United Kingdom had distinguished itself as an “extraordinary leader” in the wake of the Ukraine war “since day one.” He also recalled that a large part of the money would flow into the country's own defense industry.

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a bill in March that provides around $60 billion in aid for Kiev. However, Johnson has not yet presented the package for a vote in the House of Representatives because the right wing of the Republicans is demanding concessions in the migration dispute. In a compromise, Johnson recently indicated that he could soon submit a draft with “some crucial innovations” for a vote. This would, among other things, provide for aid paid out as loans and the use of confiscated Russian assets for Ukraine.

The latter is also being considered by NATO partners, but it does not appear to have been legally clarified yet. Cameron said on Tuesday that “good progress” was being made on how to access such assets, many of which are located in Europe. First, however, it is important to send “a very clear message” to the world that “we support our allies.” That aggression would not be rewarded, but those “who fight against it” would be supported.

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