Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to deliver a virtual address Wednesday to members of US Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the remarks earlier this week, saying that "as war rages on in Ukraine, it is with great respect and admiration for the Ukrainian people that we invite all Members of the House and Senate" to attend the virtual address at 9 a.m. ET.
There is widespread bipartisan support among US lawmakers for aid to Ukraine, and just last week, Congress approved an emergency aid package with $13.6 billion in humanitarian, defensive and economic assistance to the embattled country. US President Joe Biden signed the bill into law Tuesday.
According to a new letter sent to the Biden administration on Tuesday, top House and Senate Republicans are also calling on the administration to provide Ukraine with Soviet and Russian-made air defense systems to help defend against Russia’s invasion.
Zelensky recently pressed Biden during their latest call for more sanctions to further squeeze Russia, CNN learned. According to multiple sources familiar with the call, Zelensky specifically asked Biden for further efforts to cut off Russia from international trade and to continue targeting the Russian elite, as the US has continued to add more oligarchs and their families to its sanctions list. Zelensky also mentioned closing off Russia's access to international waterways during the call.
In their letter to lawmakers, Pelosi and Schumer reaffirmed US support for Ukraine amid the war.
"The Congress remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's cruel and diabolical aggression, and to passing legislation to cripple and isolate the Russian economy as well as deliver humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine," they wrote.
The two top congressional Democrats said they "look forward to the privilege of welcoming" Zelensky's address to Congress and "to convey our support to the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend democracy."
In a separate speech Wednesday: Biden plans to detail US assistance to Ukraine, hours after Ukraine's president is expected to lay out new requests for help in his speech to Congress.
Zelensky is likely to make fresh calls for steps like a no-fly zone and help acquiring fighter jets in his address to lawmakers. Biden has rejected those steps as potentially dragging the US into conflict with Russia, suggesting it could begin World War III.
But he is intent on demonstrating the support the US is providing, and will detail it in a speech on Wednesday, the White House says.
Biden referenced the speech in remarks on Tuesday: "I'll have much more to say about this tomorrow," he said when signing a spending bill.
Speaking on CNN, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Biden would talk "about the security assistance that we have provided, that we are providing, it's just unparalleled in amounts. Anti-tank, anti-aircraft, anti-armor, all kinds of support that the Ukrainians have asked for."