Highest Ranking Official US Visit to Date
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by several other House Democrats, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a surprise visit to Kyiv on April 30th. She ensured Zelensky that “our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”
The California Democrat was the highest-ranking US official to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February. In addition, she led the first official congressional delegation there since the beginning of the war.
During a meeting that took place Saturday evening local time, she told the Ukrainian President, “We are on a frontier of freedom, and your fight is a fight for everyone.”
A Follow Up In Poland
At a news conference held Sunday in Poland during a trip to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the Speaker stood firm and said the West would not back down due to any Russian threats. She remarked:
“Let me just speak for myself. Do not be bullied by bullies. If they’re making threats, you cannot back down. We’re there for the fight, and you cannot fold to a bully.”
Also speaking at the news conference in Poland was Representative Jason Crow of Colorado. He remarked that the emphasis for the trip was clear, “Weapons, weapons, and weapons,” he said, repeating a recent remark by Ukraine’s foreign minister. “We have to make sure the Ukrainians have the weapons to win.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, another member of the delegation, said that the trip showed a need for more pressure on Russia. He ensured the group that “Nothing is going to decrease.”
President Zelensky Shared News of the Trip With the World
Zelensky shared video of the American’s visit on his Twitter feed.
Зустріч зі спікером Палати представників Конгресу США @SpeakerPelosi в Києві. Сполучені Штати є лідером потужної підтримки України в боротьбі з агресією РФ. Дякуємо, що допомагаєте захищати суверенітет і територіальну цілісність нашої держави! pic.twitter.com/QXSBPFoGQh
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 1, 2022Video courtesy of Twitter and @ZelenskyyUa.
The delegation, along with the Ukrainian President (and a bunch of Ukrainian security), walked the streets of Kyiv with several House Democratic lawmakers, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks, and Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern. In addition, Zelensky awarded Pelosi with the Order of Princess Olga, a decoration presented to women who have made outstanding contributions to Ukraine.
Pelosi and her cronies visited two days after President Biden unveiled a massive $33 billion spending package to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Biden has asked Congress to swiftly approve funds to help Kyiv in what may soon be a decisive phase in its war with Russia.
US Diplomats Returning Soon
The visit comes just one week after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made their trip to Kyiv. During that visit, the US announced that it would bring our diplomats back to Ukraine, though only on a daily basis and not in the capital, amid ongoing security concerns from Russian shelling.
Diplomats will begin by making day trips from Poland to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv as a first step in reopening the U.S. Embassy, which was shuttered before the invasion.
Many additional world leaders and government officials have visited Ukraine in a show of solidarity since the start of the war. This included a visit from European Council President Charles Michel, who met with Zelensky last month, calling the capital city of Kyiv the “heart of a free and democratic Europe.”