On Wednesday, 300 days after Russia invaded its neighbor, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will make his first known foreign journey to the United States to meet with President Joe Biden and address Congress.
In light of ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine’s water and electricity sources during the dead of winter, Zelenskiy said he was traveling to Washington to meet with Biden to discuss ways to improve Ukraine’s “resilience and defense capabilities.”
According to a senior U.S. official, Biden will unveil a $2 billion military aid package for Ukraine that would include a Patriot missile battery to aid in its defense against Russian missile barrages.
Zelenskyy’s visit, about which further information became available on Tuesday night, was planned to stay for many hours.
At the White House, he will meet with Biden and senior national security advisers. He will then take part in a joint press conference with Biden before traveling to Capitol Hill to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
“The visit will underscore the United States’ steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes, including through the provision of economic, humanitarian, and military assistance,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine with the intention of conquering Kyiv in a matter of days. This goal, however, rapidly proved to be unattainable. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, describes his country’s “special military operation” to “denazify” Ukraine as the moment Moscow finally stood up to the West, which was attempting to take advantage of the Soviet Union’s fall in 1991 by destroying Russia.
Since then, there have been thousands of soldiers and civilian deaths, millions of people displaced from their homes, and entire towns reduced to rubble.
For the first time since the start of the conflict, Biden will meet face-to-face with the guy he has talked with frequently over the previous ten months. The West has backed Ukraine with Biden’s support.
According to the U.S. official, Biden won’t use the discussions to pressure Zelenskyy into sitting down with Putin for negotiations. There aren’t any active peace negotiations right now.