New Delhi: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday addressed the United States Congress and said that Ukraine still stands “against all odds”. The address comes amid the President’s defiant wartime visit to Washington to thank US leaders and “ordinary Americans” for their support in the war against Russia’s invasion.
According to the Associated Press, Zelenskyy stressed that there would be “no compromises” in the attempt to bring an end to the war.
The address to the US Congress comes as Zelenskyy aims at sustaining support for Ukraine’s defense. The Ukrainian President said that the tens of billions of dollars that the US spent on military and economic assistance over the past year was vital to Kyiv’s efforts to block Russian advances into its territory, he further appealed for more in the future.
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“Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handled in the most responsible way,” he said, as quoted by the AP.
Earlier, President Joe Biden welcomed Zelenskyy to the Oval Office and assured that the US and Ukraine would maintain their “united defense” as Russia continues to put up a “brutal assault on Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation”. Biden vowed to help bring about a “just peace.”
This is Zelenskyy’s first known trip outside Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February. He said he wanted to visit earlier and that his visit now portrayed that the “situation is under control, because of your support.”
‘Ukraine Is Alive And Kicking’: President Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy also received thunderous applause from members of Congress as he said, “Ukraine is alive and kicking. Ukraine, the United States, and Europe have defeated Russia by compelling minds around the world. Russian tyranny has lost control over us”, as quoted by news agency ANI.
The Ukrainian President said that next year would be a “turning point” in the war, “when Ukrainian courage and American resolve must guarantee the future of our common freedom — the freedom of people who stand for their values.”
He presented US lawmakers with a Ukrainian flag autographed by front-line troops in Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s contested Donetsk province. It was held up behind him on the rostrum by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Pelosi presented him with an American flag that had flown over the Capitol that day, the AP reported.
Ukraine “will never surrender,” he said and asserted that the stakes in the situation were greater than just the fate of his nation as democracy worldwide is being tested.
“This battle cannot be ignored, hoping that the ocean or something else will provide protection,” he said.
According to the AP’s report, the latest US military aid package will include a Patriot missile battery and precision-guided bombs for fighter jets, US officials informed. This is seen as an expansion in the kinds of advanced weaponry to enhance Ukraine’s air defenses against a barrage of Russian missiles.
The Russin Foreign Ministry has deemed the delivery of the advanced surface-to-air missile system as a provocative step and said that the system and any crews accompanying it would be a legitimate target for their military.
(With AP’s Inputs)