President of Ukraine in the USA. Volodymyr Zelensky’s trip has been planned for months – AP on details
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the United States has been in preparation for months, although it was announced hours before he left for Washington, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Citing people familiar with the case, the American agency described the details of the preparations for Zelensky’s daring trip, which took place in the conditions of the ongoing war in his country and the persistent threat from the Russians.
During a meeting in Zagreb in October, she chaired the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi discussed with the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, the possibility of Volodymyr Zelensky’s appearance before the US Congress. Biden administration officials have also been talking to Ukrainian officials for months about the Ukrainian leader’s visit to the White House, hoping it will take place before the end of the year to send a clear message of support for Ukraine against the harsh winter, which can be an ally in aggression Russia for this country, AP wrote.
Zelensky himself also claimed that United States they are the first country he wants to visit after the outbreak of war. In a December 11 telephone conversation between the two leaders Joe Biden invited him to the USA, and Zelensky decided that it was the right time. – I really wanted to come earlier. The president knows about it, but I couldn’t do it because the situation was so difficult,” Zelensky said on Wednesday in the Oval Office. “The trip was able to take place now because we had the situation under control and, above all, thanks to your support.”
Zelensky’s visit has been planned for months
Behind-the-scenes details of Zelensky’s surprise visit to Washington were provided to AP reporters by Nancy Pelosi’s advisers, who wished to remain anonymous. After the two presidents agreed on December 11 that the visit was to take place, the White House issued a formal invitation on December 14. Zelensky received them on Friday, December 16, and the visit was confirmed two days later.
Zelensky’s 10-hour visit to the US included a meeting in the Oval Office with Biden, a joint press conference at the White House and a speech to a largely supportive Congress, the AP reminded the AP.
Wednesday’s visit was an elaborately crafted plan by U.S. and Ukrainian officials to transport Zelensky to Washington quickly and safely, the agency said. The Ukrainian president crossed the Polish border in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, arriving by train in Przemyśl. Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink, Zelensky was transferred by the embassy car to Rzeszow airport, where he boarded a plane that landed at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington on Wednesday afternoon, the AP reported.
Zelensky flew in a US Air Force plane typically used by US dignitaries below the vice-presidential level. The White House did not publicly announce the upcoming visit until Zelensky safely left Ukraine. When Zelensky landed in the US, the Secret Service went to work as usual for visits by heads of state, the agency describes.
Visit of the President of Ukraine to the USA
Nancy Pelosi welcomed Zelensky to the Capitol, saying it was a “huge privilege” and “a reason for great pride” for her. “Your visit comes as Congress prepares to pass the next tranche of economic and humanitarian aid and security measures,” Pelosi said. “Hopefully within the next 48 hours this will be done.”
Speaking before the combined houses of the U.S. Congress, Zelensky presented a Ukrainian flag covered with the signatures of soldiers from the front line in Bakhmut, where the heaviest fighting is currently taking place.
“They asked me to bring this flag to you, to the US Congress, to members of the House of Representatives and senators, whose decisions can save millions of people,” Zelensky said in the last words of his speech. So let those decisions be made. May this flag stay with you. Ladies and gentlemen, this flag is a symbol of our victory in this war.”
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
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