The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has made a surprise visit to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials.
Speaker Pelosi arrived in the Ukrainian capital on May 1 with a delegation of some house members of the Democratic Party, which includes Jason Crow, Jim McGovern and Adam Shiff.
“You all are welcome,” Zelenskyy told the delegation.
Pelosi told Zelenskyy: “We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom.”
“We are on a frontier of freedom, and your fight is a fight for everyone. Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi added.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking American leader to visit Ukraine since the start of the war, and her visit marks a major show of continuing support for the country’s struggle against Russia.
The trip had not been previously announced and comes at a time when the United States and other countries are ramping up military aid and other support for Ukraine.
U.S President Joe Biden, on Thursday, formally asked Congress for $33 billion military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine through September of this year.
$20.4 billion of the proposed funding, is meant for additional military and security assistance for Ukraine, as well as additional fund U.S. efforts to bolster European security in cooperation with NATO allies. While the remainder will go for humanitarian and Economic assistance for Ukraine.
“It’s not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” Biden said.
“We either back the Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine every day,” he added.
The massive aid package is accompanied by a proposal to Congress that it amend several longstanding criminal laws to make it easier for the U.S. to sell off the seized assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs