Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Capitol on Wednesday ahead of his speech to a joint session of Congress.
“We’re here today to welcome the brave, courageous President Zelensky, to recognize not only him but also the brave, united people of Ukraine for what they are doing to protect democracy,” Pelosi said during a photo shoot with Zelensky on Wednesday evening.
Zelensky arrived in the USA on Wednesday. This was his first known trip outside Ukraine since his country’s conflict with Russia began at the end of February. He is expected to speak before Congress in the Capitol on Wednesday evening.
The Ukrainian president said it was a “great privilege” and a “great honor” to be in the Capitol, adding that his speech to Congress would be a “speech to Americans.”
“The United States Congress is a great friend of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, really the freedom, the freedom of Ukrainians,” he said before thanking Pelosi for supporting Kiev.
Zelensky noted that it was his second visit to the Capitol — he was last in Washington, D.C., in November 2021 — but said the time around him “feels different.”
The Ukrainian president’s visit to Washington comes at a time when Congress is considering getting 45 billion US dollars in new aid for Kiev as the fight against Moscow continues. The funding is included in the government financing package at the end of the year.
Pelosi said the measure would “hopefully” be implemented within the next 48 hours.