House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unannounced trip to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky comes as the United States and its allies are stepping up long-term support to Ukraine as Russia's invasion stretches into its third month.
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," Zelensky said, according to a statement published by the president's office.
Last week, responding to pleas from Zelensky, a group of 40 nations gathered by the US in Germany agreed to streamline and expedite the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. "We've got to move at the speed of war," said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who met with Ukraine's president in Kyiv with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week.
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would allow Biden to use a World War II-era law, known as the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, to swiftly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan. That law was originally created to help forces fighting Hitler, and reflects the urgency in Congress to support the Ukrainian armed forces.
President Joe Biden on Thursday asked Congress for an additional $33 billion aimed at supporting Ukraine over the next several months as Russia's brutal and unrelenting war enters a new phase. Biden also outlined a proposal that would further pressure Russian oligarchs over the war in Ukraine, including using money from their seized assets to fund Ukraine's defense.
The package is significantly larger than the other packages that have been put forward, and is more than twice as much as the $13.6 billion infusion of military and humanitarian aid that Congress approved last month.
Zelensky stressed the importance of the financial assistance in his meeting with Pelosi.
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," Zelensky said.
The visit by Pelosi, who is second in line to succeed the president, signals a significant measure of commitment to supporting Ukraine from the most senior level of US leadership.
Read more about America's financial assistance to Ukraine here: