Pelosi makes an unannounced trip to meet Zelensky in Kyiv

Pelosi’s office confirmed the trip in a statement Sunday, saying the president had led an official congressional delegation to Ukraine — the first amid the Russian invasion.

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

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

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

Last week, responding to Zelensky’s pleas, a group of 40 nations brought together by the United States in Germany agreed to streamline and expedite the delivery of arms to Ukraine. “We must move at the speed of war,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who met Ukraine’s president in Kyiv with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.

The House on Thursday passed legislation that would allow Biden to use a World War II law, known as the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, to quickly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan. This law was originally created to aid the forces fighting Hitler and reflects Congress’s urgency to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

President Joe Biden has also asked Congress for an additional $33 billion funding bill to help Ukraine over the coming months as Russia’s brutal and relentless war enters a new phase. Biden also presented a proposal that would put additional pressure on Russian oligarchs over the war in Ukraine, including using money from their seized assets to fund Ukraine’s defense.

The package is significantly larger than other packages that have been proposed and represents more than double the $13.6 billion injection of military and humanitarian aid that Congress approved last month.

Zelensky stressed the importance of financial aid during his meeting with Pelosi. “The signals that the United States and President Biden are giving today are very important. These include recent significant defense actions and financial support for Ukraine, as well as decisions on lend-lease. – we are grateful for that,” Zelensky said.

Pelosi’s trip to kyiv, who is second in line to succeed the president, marks a significant measure of commitment to supporting Ukraine from the highest level of American leadership.

Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in Ukraine aid as war enters new phase
“Our Congressional delegation had the solemn opportunity and extraordinary honor to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other senior Ukrainian officials in Kyiv,” according to the press release from Pelosi’s office.

“Our delegation expressed our respect and gratitude to President Zelenskyy 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-American ties. Olga was the first woman to rule Kievan Rus, a medieval East Slavic state. The order bearing her name is awarded to women who have achieved significant success in politics and society – the personification in Ukraine of female strength.

He also gave Pelosi a Ukrainian flag that he and women parliamentarians, including those she recently met at the U.S. Capitol, had signed, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

Pelosi was joined by several other prominent members of Congress, including Gregory Meeks of New York, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

The delegation spent just over three hours on the ground in Kyiv, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. US politicians are now in Poland, where they are to meet President Andrzej Duda and other top officials.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Rzeszow, Poland, on Sunday, Pelosi said his talks with Zelensky centered on security, humanitarian and economic aid, and possibly rebuilding Ukraine.

“We were proud to deliver to him a message of unity from the United States Congress. A message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership and admiration for the Ukrainian people for their courage,” Pelosi said.

“America stands with Ukraine, we stand with Ukraine until victory is won, and we stand with NATO.”

Sarita Harilela and Sophie Jeong of CNN in Hong Kong and Daniella Diaz and Mikayla Bouchard in DC contributed to this report.

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