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Volodymyr Zelenskyy goes to United States on official visit

This will be Zelenskyy's first trip abroad since 24 February.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy goes to United States on official visit
Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Office

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy went on an official visit to the United States, according to his Twitter account.

"I am going to the United States to strengthen the resilience and defenсe capability of Ukraine. In particular, we will discuss cooperation between Ukraine and the United States with President Joe Biden. I will also address the Congress and hold a series of bilateral meetings," the Head of State informed.

Presidential Press Secretary Serhiy Nikiforov added that the meeting with Joseph Biden would take place on 21 December. The Presidents of Ukraine and the United States will discuss comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, particularly on strengthening Ukrainian resilience and defence capabilities, supporting its sovereignty and restoring territorial integrity.

Zelenskyy will also deliver a speech at a joint session of the two chambers of the US Congress and hold a series of bilateral meetings.

Voice of America journalist Ostap Yarysh said that Zelenskyy would visit the United States at the invitation of his American counterpart. The formal invitation was made by the United States last Wednesday, 14 December. The Ukrainian side finally confirmed the visit on 18 December.

According to the plan, Zelensky will spend part of the day in the United States and will leave for Ukraine. The route and composition of the Ukrainian delegation are unknown. However, a senior administration official confirmed that the US had been consulting the Ukrainian side on security issues.

"In Washington, Zelensky will have a very busy schedule. In the afternoon, he will meet with Biden at the White House, after that there will be a meeting with the US national security team and representatives of the US government, then a press conference and communication with journalists are planned," Yarysh said.

In the evening, the Ukrainian President will deliver a special address to the U.S. Congress. On Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues asking them to attend the session in person.

"During Zelensky's visit, the White House plans to officially announce one of the largest military aid packages worth almost $2 billion, which, among other things, will include the Patriot air defence system. Training on this system will take place in a third country, after which it will be deployed in Ukraine," the journalist added.

In addition, the White House hopes that Congress will approve nearly $45 billion in additional funding for Ukraine this week. Zelenskyy's visit and his speech to lawmakers should also be seen in this context - all this is happening on the days when the vote is scheduled.

The administration official assured that Biden would not be urging Ukraine to negotiate with Russia. On the contrary, he will work with Congress to ensure that Ukraine has the strongest possible position on the battlefield during this winter. The meeting of the presidents will be about solidarity, support and coordination of actions.

Yesterday, Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a visit to Bakhmut, a city in Donetsk Region, where fierce battles with the occupiers are taking place.

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