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Ukraine President Zelenskyy to satisfy Biden, tackle US Congress in Washington


WASHINGTON: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet US chief Joe Biden and tackle Congress in Washington on Wednesday after Vladimir Putin vowed to strengthen the Russian navy in Ukraine.
The secretly organized journey comes because the Russian president blamed the West for the “shared tragedy” of the struggle and mentioned Moscow would develop its navy’s nuclear capabilities.
Will probably be Zelenskyy’s first journey exterior Ukraine since Russian forces invaded in February, after they deliberate for a fast takeover of Kyiv and far of the nation.
Zelenskyy’s go to will “underscore america’ steadfast dedication to supporting Ukraine for so long as it takes,” White Home spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned.
It comes after almost 10 months of a struggle has seen Russian forces halted by a cussed Ukrainian military backed by Western arms, compelled to retreat from captured territory and struggling to keep away from additional setbacks.
“On my method to the US to strengthen resilience and protection capabilities of (Ukraine),” Zelenskyy tweeted, confirming that he’ll make a speech to Congress in individual.
Zelenskyy will go to the White Home the place Biden is to announce a brand new arms package deal value virtually $2 billion {that a} senior administration official mentioned consists of Patriot air protection missiles.
Patriot missiles are seen as essential to assist Kyiv fend off Russia’s punishing missile and drone assaults on its infrastructure.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Wednesday that new weapons deliveries would result in an “aggravation of the battle” and don’t “bode nicely for Ukraine”.
He added that Moscow doesn’t anticipate Ukraine to alter its stance on peace talks- together with refusing to barter whereas Putin is in power- throughout the go to.
Talking with senior navy officers throughout a televised tackle, Putin mentioned Moscow was to not blame for the invasion and agreed with an evaluation that Russia wanted a bigger military.
“The fight capabilities of our armed forces are growing continually,” Putin mentioned, including that Russia will even “enhance the fight readiness of our nuclear triad”.
“What is occurring is, after all, a tragedy- our shared tragedy. However it’s not the results of our coverage. It’s the results of the coverage of third international locations,” he added.
“We have no limits on funding. The nation and the federal government is giving the whole lot that the military asks for, the whole lot,” Putin mentioned.
Zelenskyy can also be anticipated to handle a joint session of Congress, which Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned could be “a really particular give attention to democracy.”
The go to was quietly deliberate, starting with a phone name between Biden and Zelenskyy on December 11, adopted by a proper invitation every week in the past and affirmation of the go to on Sunday.
Particulars of the go to leaked on Tuesday afternoon, with officers stressing to US media that there have been nonetheless safety considerations over Zelenskyy’s journey.
Biden and Zelenskyy will focus on the arms and coaching supplied by america and allies, sanctions and different strain on Russia, and financial and humanitarian support that Ukraine wants, the senior White Home official mentioned.
“They are going to focus on each ingredient of this battle, together with the state of affairs on the battlefield and together with the query of the place the struggle goes from right here,” the official mentioned.
The go to will ship Putin “a robust message of unity and resolve from the White Home, from Washington, from the free world, on behalf of all of the nations supporting Ukraine,” the official added.
However that doesn’t embrace pressuring Zelenskyy into talks with Putin, the official harassed.
Zelenskyy flies to america after a dangerous go to to the frontline in Bakhmut, the place each side have endured heavy tolls in fixed taking pictures and shelling over the previous two months.
Brutal trench warfare and artillery battles round Bakhmut- as soon as recognized for its vineyards and salt mines- have flattened giant parts of town and its environment.
“Right here in Donbas, you are defending all of Ukraine,” Zelensky informed Ukrainian fighters.
“This isn’t simply Bakhmut, that is fortress Bakhmut,” he mentioned, handing out honors to Ukraine servicemen.
Troopers gave Zelenskyy a Ukrainian flag with their names signed on it and requested him to current it to Biden and Congress.
Zelenskyy mentioned they informed him: “We’ve a tough state of affairs. The enemy is growing their numbers. Our guys are braver, however we’d like extra weapons.”





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