In his first foreign visit since Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, the president of the war-torn country will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden in Washington in a bid to appeal for an increase in funding and a comprehensive package.
Announcing the meet, a White House press release said, “President Biden and President Zelenskyy discussed the visit of President Zelenskyy to Washington when they spoke on the phone on December 11th. And the White House formally invited President Zelenskyy to come tomorrow, Wednesday the 21st, last Wednesday the 14th.”
President Zelensky would involve an extended sit-down with President Biden, a meeting with key members of President Biden’s national security team and Cabinet, an opportunity to address the press, and then an opportunity to go up to Capitol Hill to do a joint session of Congress, the release added.
Ukraine’s relationship with the US has proved to be significant in providing assistance to Zelensky since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict earlier this year.
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The US has so far committed $18.5bn, far more than any other individual country on the donor’s list according to the data sourced from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, reports BBC.
“Russia expected that this war would be quick work, that they would be in Kyiv and dominating the country within a matter of days. But here we are 300 days later, and Ukraine stands, Kyiv stands, the Ukrainian people stand. And Ukraine, in fact, has been pushing back against Russian aggression, reclaiming territory over the course of the past several weeks and months,” the White House said.
Elaborating on the $2 billion aid by the US to Ukraine, the release said, “In fact, tomorrow, President Biden will announce a significant new package of nearly $2 billion of security assistance for Ukraine. It will contain a very important new capability: a Patriot missile battery, which will be a critical asset to defend the Ukrainian people against Russia’s barbaric attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure.”