Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy began a quick visit to Washington on Monday, where he stated in a speech at a military university that Russia may be fighting in Ukraine, but the “real purpose is freedom” in the United States and around the world. .
He also called on Congress to approve more aid to Kyiv.
The visit, which will include meetings Tuesday at the White House and with Congress, is part of a last-minute effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to convince lawmakers to approve more money for Ukraine, as it has warned. Officials say that the funds for Ukraine have run out.
Biden asked Congress for $61.4 billion for Ukraine as part of a $110 billion package that also includes money for Israel and other national security priorities. But the request was caught up in a debate over immigration policy and US border security. Washington has already given kyiv $111 billion to defend itself against Russia in a war approaching two years.
“If anyone is motivated by unresolved problems on Capitol Hill, it’s (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and his team,” Zelenskyy told an audience of military leaders and National Defense students. University. “Ukrainians have not given up and will not give up. We know what to do. You can count on Ukraine. And we hope we can count on you.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who introduced the Ukrainian president, said that the United States’ commitment to Ukraine is unwavering and that supporting the war effort is essential to ensure the security of the United States and its allies.
Austin noted that Zelenskyy is “living proof that one man’s leadership can help restore a troubled democracy and inspire the free world and change the course of history.”