According to US media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to visit Washington on Wednesday. The news channel CNN reported on Tuesday that a meeting with US President Joe Biden was planned at the White House. According to the news channel Fox News and the website "Punchbowl News", a speech by Zelenskyj before the congress is also planned. It would be the Ukrainian president's first trip abroad since Russia invaded his country on February 24.
The outgoing Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, wrote in a letter on Tuesday asking MPs to be in Washington on Wednesday evening. There will be "a very special focus on democracy," said President Biden's party friend, without explaining it in detail. "Punchbowl News" emphasized that the planned Zelenskyj visit could still be canceled due to security concerns.
Pelosi did not confirm the reports of a visit by the Ukrainian leader to the press on Tuesday evening. But she said the visit of an "absolute hero" like Zelensky would "do credit" to the US Congress. In the conflict against Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Ukrainian people are fighting "for all of us for democracy".
Zelenskyy has not left Ukraine since the start of the Russian war of aggression. However, he exchanged views with heads of state and government in numerous telephone calls and video conferences. He was also connected digitally from the Ukraine at the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria. The Ukrainian President has traveled to the combat zone several times, in contrast to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has not been to the front once.
On the occasion of the visit to Washington, Biden could promise to deliver the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, according to media reports. The Patriot air defense system can repel aircraft, cruise missiles, drones or missiles even at a greater distance. It would complicate Russia's missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
Moscow recently warned Washington of a Patriot delivery. Like other heavy weapons, these complexes would become "lawful priority targets" for Russian forces, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week in Moscow. The US government is already delivering Himars multiple rocket launchers and the Nasams air defense system to Ukraine.
In the war that has been going on for almost ten months, the USA is Ukraine's most important supporter and is supplying numerous weapons to the country. In May, the US Congress passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine. The draft budget for 2023 provides for a further almost 45 billion dollars in aid for the country.
Zelenskyi previously said in his daily video address on Tuesday that this week is extremely important for Ukraine "to get through this winter and next year" and "to get the necessary support and finally the Ukrainian flag on all sections of our border blows".