WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House on Wednesday (local time) on his first foreign visit since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, reported CNN.
He was greeted by Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. The two leaders are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting.
It is his first foreign trip since Russia invaded his country in February.
According to an updated advisory, Vice President Kamala Harris will attend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday night at the US Capitol. The Ukraine president was clad in his typical green-coloured cargo pants and a sweatshirt with a small insignia of Ukraine’s coat of arms on it.
Zelenskyy will hold a news conference with Biden and address a joint meeting of Congress at 7:30 p.m. ET, reported CNN. The Ukrainian President said he is in the US to “thank the American people, the President and the Congress for their much-needed support,” adding that he’s holding negotiations to “strengthen the resilience and defence capabilities of Ukraine”.
“I will hold a series of negotiations to strengthen the resilience and defence capabilities of Ukraine. In particular, we will discuss bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the United States of America with US President Joseph Biden,” he said. “Next year, we must return the Ukrainian flag and freedom to our entire land, to all our people,” he said in a post on his official Telegram channel.
Zelensky landed at Joint Base Andrews, a source said. He visited the Oval Office this afternoon for extended talks with US President Joe Biden, who will announce he is sending nearly USD 2 billion in additional security assistance to Ukraine, including a sophisticated new air defence system, reported CNN.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional USD 1.85 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, which includes the Patriot missile defence systems. Zelenskyy is set to give a speech to Congress later and hold a number of meetings in the US capital.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is not to blame for the war in Ukraine, claiming the conflict is “the result of the policy of third countries.” He’s also told Russian defence chiefs that there is no financial limit on military spending as the conflict approaches its eleventh month.
Putin and Russia’s defence minister outlined a substantial investment in many areas of the military as the war in Ukraine drags on. Moreover, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi is visiting Moscow on Thursday to discuss safety at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in a Russian-occupied area of southern Ukraine, the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed. (ANI)