Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday thanked the U.S. for its support for his nation and said he wants Americans to keep working together to defeat Russia’s aspirations to control his country.
‘I wish you peace,’ Zelenskyy said in a White House press briefing with President Biden when asked what he wants to say to Americans.
‘And, of course, to be together with us… because we really fight for our common victory against this tyranny. That is real life. And we will win, and I really want to win together. Not ‘want.’ Sorry. I am sure.’
Biden invited Zelenskyy to Washington and announced at the White House that another military aid package worth nearly $2 billion would be headed toward Ukraine, including a defensive Patriot missile battery. Zelenskyy thanked Biden for that aid and said more would be appreciated.
‘After that, we will send another signal to President Biden that we would like to get more Patriots,’ he said.
The visit marks Zelenskyy’s first trip outside Ukraine since Russia invaded his country in February, and he used it to help maintain support for U.S. aid to Ukraine’s defensive effort.
‘I came here in the U.S. to thank the people of America — people who do so much for Ukraine,’ Zelenskyy said.
‘When Ukraine’s freedom was threatened, the American people, like generations before us, did not hesitate,’ Biden added. ‘We understand in our bones that Ukraine’s fight is a part of something much bigger.’
Congress is poised to pass its $1.7 trillion spending package that includes $44.9 billion in aid to Ukraine. This adds to the $65 billion already sent to the country by Congress since Russia first invaded.
‘Thank you, Mr. President, for the $45 billion. This is a big assistance, and I hope Congress will approve,’ Zelenskyy said. ‘Every dollar of this investment for the U.S. is going to strengthen global security.’
Continued efforts to aid Ukraine has faced criticism from some Republicans, but the party’s leaders have expressed their commitment to countering Russian aggression.
‘Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the No. 1 priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday. ‘That’s how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment.’
Zelensky will address Congress a few hours after his press conference with Biden.