Pelosi Vows Unwavering Support for Ukraine in Unannounced Meeting With Zelenskyy

The House speaker is the highest-ranking US official to meet thus far with Ukraine’s wartime president.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30 in Kyiv, Ukraine.The Presidential Office of Ukraine/AP Images

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday led a congressional delegation in an unannounced visit to Kyiv to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Democratic Party leader, the highest-ranking US lawmaker to visit Ukraine’s capital since Russia’s invasion, said in a statement that the meeting sends “an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine.”

Pelosi said Zelenskyy conveyed the need for continued security, economic, and humanitarian assistance from the United States as it enters the third month of an unprovoked, brutal assault by Russian missiles and ground troops. The delegation of six Democratic lawmakers “proudly delivered the message” that additional support is on the way, Pelosi said, adding that Congress will work to “transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package.”

The delegation’s visit came just days after Biden urged Congress to approve an additional $33 billion. In a White House statement Thursday, Biden said that “the cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.” Every day, he added, Ukrainians pay a price, and “the price they pay is with their lives for this fight. ” 

Pelosi’s and the delegation met with Zelenskyy and his top aides for three hours late Saturday to “get a first-hand assessment of the war effort to date.” Zelenskyy’s request for more resources from the United States was needed to “address the devastating human toll taken on the Ukrainian people by Putin’s diabolic invasion,” Pelosi’s statement said. (Earlier in the week Moscow confirmed it had carried out a missile attack in Kyiv during a visit by UN Secretary General to the capital.) 

After the delegation’s visit to Ukraine, they traveled to Poland where Pelosi said in a press briefing that “America stands with Ukraine until victory is won.” She described Zelenskyy’s wartime leadership as “dazzling.”

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