US President Joe Biden invites Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to White House

Joe Biden

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the White House on Tuesday. During the meeting, the two leaders will discuss Ukraine’s energy needs and the importance of the US’ continued support for Kyiv.

According to a statement released by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden has invited Zelenskyy to the White House to demonstrate the US’ “unshakeable commitment” to support the people of Ukraine as they fight Russia in the ongoing war.

In a statement, Karine Jean-Pierre stated, “President Biden has invited President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to the White House for a meeting on Tuesday, December 12, to underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion.”

“As Russia ramps up its missile and drone strikes against Ukraine, the leaders will discuss Ukraine’s urgent needs and the vital importance of the United States’ continued support at this critical moment,” she added.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit the US at a time when the Ukraine aid deal remains stalled in Congress. It is Zelensky’s second visit to the US since the war between Russia and Ukraine started in February 2022. Previously, Zelenskyy visited the US in September.

During his visit to the US in September, Zelenskyy met Biden at the White House. He also held a meeting with then-US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries and US House Representatives.

Zelenskyy’s visit comes at a critical moment in congressional negotiations for emergency aid to Ukraine, CNN reported. Congress looks no closer to a deal tying immigration and border policy changes to the emergency aid package providing funding for Ukraine and Israel before lawmakers leave town for the holidays.

If lawmakers leave town for the holidays without reaching a deal in Congress, the White House will have to make a tough decision about supplying allies like Ukraine at the potential expense of US military readiness, CNN reported. Top Biden administration officials have for weeks spoken about funding for Ukraine running dry and its potential impact.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

have also invited Zelenskyy to speak at an all-senators meeting on Tuesday, CNN reported citing Senate leadership aide. US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson will meet with Zelenskyy, his office announced in a statement.

The leaders will discuss “further defence cooperation” in a series of meetings scheduled to be held Tuesday, the office of the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement on Sunday, CNN reported.

According to the statement, Zelenskyy will focus on “securing unity among the US, Europe, and the rest of the world” on supporting Ukraine’s defence against Russia and “strengthening the international order based on rules and respect for the sovereignty of nations.”

During the meeting, Zelenskyy and Biden will also discuss defensive cooperation efforts for the coming year, including joint projects to produce weapons and air defence systems.

Notably, the US has been providing military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine ever since the war between Kyiv and Moscow started. The Biden administration has also imposed sanctions against Russia for launching an attack on Ukraine. (ANI)

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