KYIV, Ukraine (NEWSnet/AP) — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday he’s certain the United States will make good on its promise to provide billions of dollars in additional aid in the nation’s fight against Russia.

Speaking at an end-of-year news conference in Kyiv, Zelenskyy dismissed suggestions that Moscow’s forces have come out of 2023 on top after stopping Ukraine’s counteroffensive and increasing military production.

Russia “failed to achieve any of its goals” in 2023, he said.

He did say Ukraine faces “lots of challenges” after expending Western military hardware in the counteroffensive.

U.S. Congress has departed for the holidays without a deal to send $61 billion to Ukraine, and the U.S. Defense Department says it is almost of money to help Ukraine.

Zelenskyy insists he isn’t worried.

“I am confident that the U.S. will not let us down and that what we have agreed with the U.S. will be fulfilled,” Zelenskyy said.

Western support is crucial for Ukraine’s fight against its better-armed neighbor, and the U.S. is the main single source of help.

Ukraine has received additional U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air systems and advanced NASAMS anti-aircraft systems, providing medium- to long-range defense against Russian missile attacks, Zelenskyy said.

Although Zelenskyy was upbeat about receiving further military and financial help from European Union countries, he is less optimistic about Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO.

“NATO is the most powerful option for us. But we’re not invited to NATO yet,” he said. “All these signals about our membership so far are nonsense. We didn’t receive a solid offer, not from a single partner of ours. It is hard to imagine ... how this can happen.”

Ukraine’s military wants to mobilize up to 500,000 more troops, Zelenskyy said, but he said he has asked the top brass to spell out the details on what is “a very sensitive matter” before deciding whether to grant their wish.

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