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Biden Unites With an Unlikely Ally to Champion Ukraine

President Biden turned to an unlikely ally on Friday in his drive to build support for Ukraine’s war effort as U.S. aid falters, declaring during a White House visit by the far-right prime minister of Italy that the two leaders “have each other’s backs” and “have Ukraine’s back.”

The warm tone, a striking departure from Mr. Biden’s assessment of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni when she was elected, extended to a number of foreign policy fronts, as the leaders sought to portray themselves as united on topics including confronting global migration and trying to prevent a broader war in the Middle East.

“As you said when we first met here in the Oval, Giorgia, that we have each other’s backs,” Mr. Biden said. “We do, and you’ve demonstrated that from the moment you took office.”

But Mr. Biden highlighted their unity on Kyiv’s efforts to fend off an invasion by President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, creating a contrast with conservatives in Congress. “We also have Ukraine’s back,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s why I’m urging the House of Representatives to pass legislation” that would send billions of dollars to fund the war effort.

The meeting intensified an all-out assault by Mr. Biden to push stalled military aid for Ukraine through a reluctant Congress. He convened a meeting this week at which he sought to push Speaker Mike Johnson to allow a vote on aid. He has warned that the divisions over aid are a gift to Russia. And he has used meetings with European officials this year not only to ensure a united front against Russia’s invasion but also to pressure Congress.

In Ms. Meloni, Mr. Biden has found a surprisingly kindred spirit.

The Italian prime minister said on Friday that as the chairwoman of the Group of 7 nations, she was focused on “defending freedom and building peace for Ukraine.”

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