May 27, 2024

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Pelosi takes an unannounced trip to meet Zelensky in Kyiv

Pelosi takes an unannounced trip to meet Zelensky in Kyiv

Pelosi’s office confirmed the visit in a statement on Sunday, saying the speaker led an official Congressional delegation to Ukraine — a first amid the Russian invasion.

Zelensky shared a video on Sunday of their meeting in Kyiv, thanking the United States for its strong support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.

“We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we are on the frontier of freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone,” Pelosi told Zelensky in the clip. “So our commitment is to be there for you until the battle is over.”

Her visit comes as the United States and its allies step up efforts to provide long-term support to Ukraine as the fighting intensifies.

Last week, in response to pleas from Zelensky, group of 40 countries Collected by the United States in Germany agreed to simplify and speed up the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. “We must move with the speed of war,” the defense minister said. Lloyd Austinwho met the Ukrainian President in Kyiv with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Anthony Blinken last week.

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation that would allow Biden to use a World War II-era law, known as the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, to quickly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan. Originally designed to aid forces fighting Hitler, this law reflects Congress’ urgency to support Ukraine’s armed forces.

President Joe Biden also asked Congress a $33 billion supplemental financing bill To help Ukraine over the next several months as Russia’s brutal and relentless war enters a new phase. Biden also outlined a proposal that would increase pressure on the Russian oligarchy over the war in Ukraine, including using money from their confiscated assets to fund Ukraine’s defense.

The package is much larger than others that have been floated, and is more than double the $13.6 billion injection of military and humanitarian aid approved by Congress last month.

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Zelensky stressed the importance of financial assistance in his meeting with Pelosi. “The signals that the United States and President Biden are giving today are very important,” Zelensky said. “These are recent strong steps in defense and financial support for Ukraine, as well as decisions on lend-lease — we are grateful for that.”

Pelosi’s trip, second in line to succeed the president, to Kyiv represents an important measure of the commitment to support Ukraine from the highest levels of American leadership.

According to new version From Pelosi’s office.

“Our delegation expressed our respect and gratitude to President Zelensky for his leadership and our admiration for the Ukrainian people for their courage in the fight against Russian oppression.”

Zelensky awarded Pelosi the “Order of Princess Olga” for her significant personal contribution to strengthening Ukrainian and US relations. Olga was the first woman to rule Kievan Rus’, a medieval East Slavic state. The order that bears her name is awarded to women who have achieved great success in politics and society – the embodiment of female power in Ukraine.

Pelosi also gave the Ukrainian flag signed by him and members of parliament, including those she met at the US Capitol recently, according to Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hamill.

Pelosi was joined by several senior members of Congress, including Gregory Mix of New York, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, and Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the intelligence committee.

Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hamill, said the delegation spent just over three hours on the ground in Kyiv. American politicians are now in Poland, where they are scheduled to meet with President Andrzej Duda and other senior officials.

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Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Rzeszow, Poland, on Sunday, Pelosi said her discussions with Zelensky centered around security, humanitarian and economic assistance, and ultimately the rebuilding of Ukraine.

“We were proud to pass on a message of unity from the US Congress to him. A message of appreciation from the American people for their leadership and admiration for the people of Ukraine for their courage,” Pelosi said.

“America stands by Ukraine, we stand by Ukraine until victory is achieved, and we stand by NATO.”

CNN’s Sarita Harrela, Hong Kong’s Sophie Jeong, and D.C.’s Daniela Diaz and Michaela Bouchard contributed to this report.