US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena to the White House on Thursday. After briefly posing for a photo together, they headed inside.
Before that, Zelenskyy met with US lawmakers and visited the Pentagon. According to White House security adviser Jake Sullivan, Biden is preparing to introduce another package of military aid to Ukraine. According to him, the aid will include air defense systems and other military equipment, which should help Kyiv before the harsh winter.
Sullivan told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters, that the aid would be announced during a visit by the Ukrainian president. He also discussed with representatives of the US Congress.
Zelenskyy met with the delegations of the Senate and the House of Representatives; among others, he spoke with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party. Part of the Republicans is asking for a reduction in aid to Kyiv.
McCarthy described the conversation as good and productive, but he did not want to tell journalists when he would send a new package of military and civilian aid to Ukraine worth 24 billion dollars (551 billion crowns) to be discussed by the lower house plenum.
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According to CNN, McCarthy said he was opposed to Zelenskyi addressing a joint meeting of both houses of Congress again, as he did in December. According to him, there was no time for that. He came to the meeting with the Ukrainian president with a group of lawmakers from both parties.
“I did exactly what I did with the Italian Prime Minister (Giorgia Meloni), the British Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak),” CNN quoted McCarthy as saying.
The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Michael McCaul, said Ukraine was supported by the “majority of the majority” of Republican lawmakers who control the chamber. According to him, Zelensky said that Ukraine is winning the war. But McCaul added that lawmakers need to hear whether Ukraine has a clear strategy for victory. “A war of attrition will not win,” says the politician.
“He told us, and I’m quoting Mr. Zelensky verbatim – if we don’t get help, we’re going to lose the war,” Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told reporters. According to the head of Republican senators, it was a good meeting.
Zelenskyy said after the meeting that he had a very good dialogue with the senators. According to the AP agency, he received a warmer reception from the members of the upper house than in the case of the House of Representatives, from representatives of both major parties.
According to the AP agency, since the beginning of the war, Congress has approved four packages of aid to Ukraine in the amount of approximately 113 billion dollars (2.6 trillion crowns).
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