Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House from California, made a surprise visit to Ukraine this past weekend. She led a small Democratic delegation to Kyiv so that she could reaffirm support from the United States for the war-torn country. Pelosi was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Ukraine since the beginning of the war with Russia. It’s not surprising that she went in order to get this “atta girl” for herself.
While in the city of Kyiv, the Speaker ventured outside along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Wearing a blue suit that matched the color of the Ukrainian flag, Pelosi greeted Zelenskyy and promised that the United States would support Ukraine “until the fight is done.” She described her visit as a “solemn opportunity and extraordinary honor.”
President Zelenskyy showed his gratitude for the show of solidarity from Pelosi and thanked her for “helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Speaker Pelosi was joined by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks (N.Y.), Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (Mass.), and Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.), William R. Keating (Mass.) and Jason Crow (Colo.). Notice that there were no Republicans in attendance…
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Zelenskyy thanked the members of the delegation for the strong support for Ukraine from the people of the United States and the support of both houses of Congress.
Massachusetts Representative Willian Keating noted that lawmakers have heard “appalling” claims about the brutality the people of Ukraine have faced during the war. He spoke about incidents of rape and human trafficking imposed by Russian soldiers.
Speaker Pelosi challenged Congress to approve President Biden’s request for an additional $33 billion in military humanitarian aid for Ukraine. She asked that the United States and its allies not back down from the bullying of President Vladimir Putin from Russia.
“Do not be bullied by bullies. If they’re making threats, you cannot back down. That’s my view of it. You cannot fold to a bully,” Pelosi said.
President Biden wants Congress to move quickly in passing his new funding request. It includes $20 billion in military assistance, $8.5 billion to bolster Ukraine’s economy, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid.
The president indicated that the cost was not cheap, but giving in to Russian aggression would be even more costly.
Republican Representative Michael McCaul from Texas serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He noted that the House was not in session this week and said that the next couple of weeks in Ukraine will be “pivotal” in the war. He said that the United States did not have a lot of time to waste in Congress.
“Every day we don’t send [Ukraine] more weapons is a day where more people will be killed and a day where they could lose this war. I think they can win it. But we have to give them the tools to do it,” McCaul said.
Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, said that the meeting between Pelosi and Zelenskyy was another sign of “very, very strong support” for Ukraine. She used the platform to once again declare that Ukraine would not surrender to Russian aggression. She said the war was started by Russia and would have to be ended by Russia, and she said that the Ukrainian people will bravely defend their country to honor those who have fallen.
Speaker Pelosi also visited Poland, and she met with U.S. senior officials there to discuss the humanitarian tragedy caused by Russia. This came on the heels of an announcement from Russian state-controlled gas corporation Gazprom indicating that it had cut off natural gas to both Poland and Bulgaria. These countries refused to pay Russia for the gas in rubles.
The pressure continues to mount on Putin, and many are hoping for a quick response to end the war with Ukraine.