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U.S. military aid package 'will get to Ukraine', Jake Sullivan says on Kyiv trip

By Olena Harmash

KYIV (Reuters) - White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a trip to Kyiv on Wednesday that a major U.S. aid package that has been blocked by Republicans for months would "get to Ukraine" and vowed that Washington's support would continue.

Vital U.S. aid for Ukraine has been stuck in Congress since late last year, piling more pressure on already outgunned Ukrainian troops fighting a better armed and larger foe two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

"From our perspective we are confident we will get this done. We will get this aid to Ukraine," Sullivan told a joint press conference after meeting Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak.

Sullivan gave no timeline for the arrival of the aid, but said there was no need to talk about a "plan B", appearing to reject the idea the aid could be provided in the form of a loan.

"I am confident that we will achieve plan A. We will get a strong bipartisan vote in the House for an assistance package for Ukraine, and we will get that money out the door as we should," he said.

He said the process had "already taken too long".

Russian troops occupy more than a sixth of Ukraine's territory and are on the offensive again after weathering Ukraine's counteroffensive last year.

Moscow has been inching forward in the east as Ukrainian troops face shortages of artillery rounds, manpower problems and question marks over the depth and strength of their defensive fortifications.

Yermak said they had discussed Ukraine's current battlefield needs, the NATO military alliance's summit in Washington in July and a peace summit in Switzerland that Kyiv wants to happen this spring.

Ukraine does not plan to invite Russia to that summit, which aims to build on President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's vision of peace. His blueprint envisages a full withdrawal of Russian troops that Moscow has dismissed as a non-starter.

Yermak told the news conference that he believed that China - which had a senior envoy this month tour European capitals, including Kyiv and Moscow - could take part in the summit.

China, the world's no. 2 economy, is seen as an ally of Russia and has deep economic ties with Moscow. Its participation in the summit would be seen as a big diplomatic win for Ukraine.

"The latest visit of the special representative of China gives cautious hope that China will also participate in this process," Yermak said.

(Writing by Yuliia Dysa and Tom Balmforth, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)