Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy arrived in Washington, DC on Wednesday and thanked President Biden, Congress, and the American people for their support.
The visit, marking Zelenskyy’s first trip outside of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February, comes as lawmakers are preparing to vote on the $1.7 trillion spending bill that includes $45 billion in aid to Ukraine. The military aid would ensure funding for months to come.
Zelenskyy met with President Biden Wednesday afternoon before addressing Congress in the evening. Sitting beside the Ukrainian President in the Oval Office, Biden praised the fellow world leader and his nation.
"It's an honor to be by your side in the united defense against what is a brutal, brutal war that is being waged by Putin," Biden said. "The Ukrainian people continue to inspire the world."
“The American people have stood proudly with them, Democrats and Republicans,” he added. “We’re going to continue to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself, particularly air defense.”
The Biden administration announced several new technologies it will be sharing with Ukraine, chief among them, the patriot missile defense system.
The system has long been sought after by Ukraine as it would be able to counter the frequent Russian missile attacks, in part, responsible for damage to Ukraine’s electric grid.
Zelenskyy said it was a great honor to be in Washington and expressed gratitude for Biden, lawmakers, and “ordinary people.”
“First of all, all of my appreciation from my heart, from the heart of Ukrainians…for your support and leadership,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy, who has called for continued support from the United States to help fight off Russia, gifted President Biden a medal he received from a Ukrainian soldier on the frontlines.
Updated with Cheddar writethrough.