Nancy Pelosi, in surprise Kyiv visit, reiterates U.S. support for Ukraine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the head of a top-level U.S. congressional delegation, paid a surprise visit to Ukraine in extraordinary secrecy to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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On 29 April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the half dozen U.S. lawmakers met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his top aides to repeat American solidarity with the Ukrainian nation and have a first-hand of the situation. Pelosi is making efforts to manage a huge new Ukraine aid package through Congress.

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice president, is the most senior American lawmaker to visit Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on 24 February.

“Our Congressional Delegation was honored to meet with @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv to salute his leadership and courage, to commend the Ukrainian people for their outstanding defense of Democracy and to say that we are with you until victory is won,” wrote Pelosi on her Twitter account on 1 May.

The trip to Kyiv, was kept secret until the delegation was safely out of Ukraine. The visit came two days after U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress for additional $33 billion in aid to Ukraine.

A week earlier, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin paid a visit to Kyiv to meet Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy says grateful for strong U.S. support

The President of Ukraine thanked the Speaker for her visit.

“I am grateful to you for this signal of strong support from the United States, the people and the Congress — bicameral and bipartisan support. I, as the President, our team and the people of Ukraine highly appreciate this signal. This shows that the United States today is a leader in strong support for Ukraine during the war against the aggression of the Russian Federation,” he said.

The President thanked the United States and Nancy Pelosi personally for the efforts to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“The signals that the United States and President Biden are giving today are very important. These are recent strong steps in defense and financial support for Ukraine, as well as decisions on Lend-Lease – we are grateful for that,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

He stressed the importance of the address by President of the United States of America to the Congress to provide Ukraine with financial assistance in the amount of USD 33 billion.

Nancy Pelosi noted that today Ukraine is heroically fighting for freedom, and the United States is ready to help the country until this struggle is over. According to the Speaker, Ukraine is the frontier of freedom.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded the Order of Princess Olga to Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi for her significant personal contribution to strengthening Ukrainian-American interstate cooperation and supporting sovereign, independent and democratic Ukraine.

An unmistakable message to the world

On 1 May, while back in Warsaw, Poland, the Speaker stated the Congressional delegation’s engagements in Poland and Ukraine.

“Our distinguished Congressional delegation came to Poland to send an unmistakable message to the world: that America stands firmly with our NATO allies in our support for Ukraine.

“As the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on, our delegation continues our meetings with U.S. senior officials to be further briefed on the humanitarian tragedy caused by Putin. Throughout our meetings, we have discussed the importance of the U.S.-Polish partnership and the centrality of the NATO alliance in working to meet the urgent needs of Ukraine and to counter Russia’s unlawful aggression.

“These engagements are even more meaningful following our meeting in Kyiv with President Volodymr Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian leaders. In that profound and solemn visit, our delegation conveyed our respect and gratitude to President Zelenskyy for his leadership and our admiration of the Ukrainian people for their courage in the fight against Russia’s diabolical invasion.  Our Members were proud to deliver the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package.”

U.S. lawmakers stand with Zelenskyy

The six lawmakers that travelled with the House Speaker were Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Reps. Barbara Lee of California and Bill Keating of Massachusetts, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, and Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado.

“It was an honor to meet @ZelenskyyUa again in Kyiv this weekend. We continue to be inspired by the Ukrainian people and their strength in the face of unfathomable challenges. We stand with Ukraine,” wrote Rep. Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on his Twitter account.

“I am in awe of the courage of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people. In the face of extreme Russian brutality, Zelenskyy has inspired his people and freedom-loving individuals across the world. We are with @ZelenskyyUa and the Ukrainian people,” wrote on the Twitter account Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“The United States is not interested in stalemates. We are not interested in going back to the status quo. The United States is in this to win it and we will stand with Ukraine until victory is won,” tweeted Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, member of the House intelligence and armed services committees.

Rep. Jim McGovern, chair of the House Rules Committee, wrote: “I just returned from Kyiv with @SpeakerPelosi where we met with @ZelenskyyUa to discuss how America can best support Ukraine in their struggle for freedom and democracy. We discussed the need for continued security, economic, and humanitarian assistance from the United States.”

 

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