On Wednesday, the U.S. Congress approved tens of billions of dollars in aid to help Ukraine battle a Russian invasion. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, this aid was not a gift but rather an investment in world security. Zelensky told legislators in the imposing House of Representatives chamber that he hoped they would continue to support Ukraine on a bipartisan basis during his first visit outside of his nation since the crisis started in February.
Zelensky’s address needed to connect with House Republicans after a meeting at the White House with Democratic President Joe Biden since they have expressed growing doubt about continuing to deliver so much help to Ukraine.
There were several loud applauses when Zelenskiy entered the virtually packed chamber. As he entered, three people held up a big Ukrainian flag.
“Speaking to you and all Americans at the US Congress is a big honour for me. Ukraine resisted all predictions that it would fall. Ukraine is still going strong “Zelenskiy stated.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy walks with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as they meet at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington. . Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
He declared, “In the war for the minds of the world, we defeated Russia.
Zelensky joined a long list of world leaders who have spoken at joint sessions of the Senate and House. This tradition dates back to 1874, when Hawaiian King Kalakaua paid a visit, and has featured almost legendary visits by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Second World War, in addition to kings, queens, and one pope.
The Ukrainian leader compared his country’s struggle against Moscow’s forces to major battles of World War Two and even the American Revolution, prompting members of the House and senators from all parties to frequently rush to their feet in support.
Despite Zelenskiy’s claim that he and Biden discussed a 10-point Ukrainian peace plan, there are no signs of peace negotiations to stop the war, and both Russia and Ukraine have expressed a determination to continue fighting.
“President Biden’s backing for our peace effort today makes me happy. Ladies and gentlemen, every one of you today may contribute to the implementation to make sure that American leadership is strong, bicameral, and nonpartisan “Zelenskiy addressed the legislators.
According to a representative of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, preparations for Zelenskiy’s address got underway in October when she met with Ruslan Stefanchuk, the head of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada. Pelosi was in Croatia’s Zagreb for the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform.
Nancy Pelosi holding a Ukrainian flag behind Zelensky during the address. Photo: EWAP
Zelensky arrived knowing that the Senate and House had the power to block American spending, exactly 300 days after Russian soldiers invaded and amid increased rocket assaults that have left Ukrainian cities in ruins.
He spoke at the perfect time, as Congress is set to approve an additional $44.9 billion in the military and economic aid for Ukraine, on top of the over $50 billion that has already been sent there this year.
Zelensky’s journey, according to Daniel Fried, a fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former American ambassador to Poland, showed that he and Biden hold the same view that the United States, despite its flaws, is the leader of the free world. The former comedian and actor Zelenskiy, 44, also paid a visit to Washington on the day the Senate unanimously approved a new ambassador to Russia.
In addition to providing military support, Zelenskiy’s reception as a supporter of democracy sent a far deeper message. It was intended to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that despite recent indications of dissatisfaction among some Republican senators over the mounting expense, the United States and its NATO allies stand resolutely behind Ukraine.
The House disregarded the customary requirement that males wear a jacket and tie inside the chamber for Zelenskiy, whose olive-coloured combat fatigues from World War II have gained worldwide recognition.