President Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House next week as the administration pushes Congress for additional funding to support Ukraine in its fight against invading Russian forces.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed Zelensky will visit the White House Thursday, immediately on the heels of the United Nations General Assembly, where Biden and other world leaders will gather in New York City.
The White House meeting “comes at a critical time as Russia desperately seeks help from countries like North Korea for its brutal war in Ukraine,” Sullivan said.
The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and humanitarian support for Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion in February 2022.
The Biden administration last month sent a supplemental funding request to Congress that included $24 billion in additional military, humanitarian and financial aid for Ukraine. The request featured about $13 billion in defense funds to assist Ukraine: $9.5 billion for equipment and replenishment of Pentagon stocks and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
Biden has been adamant that the U.S. will stand with Kyiv “for as long as it takes” for the Ukrainians to win the war.
While there is broad bipartisan support for Ukraine aid, a handful of Republicans, however, have been outspoken in their opposition to continued U.S. funding, including former President Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024.
Sullivan said he would not speak to Zelensky’s schedule outside of the White House visit, but he has “every expectation” that the Ukrainian president will meet with both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
“I don’t believe President Zelensky needs our advice to prove what Ukraine needs,” Sullivan said. “He has proven … there is no better advocate for his country, for his better people.”
Next week will mark the second time in the past year Zelensky has visited the White House. He leader traveled to Washington, D.C., last December amid the war with Russia to meet with Biden and deliver an address to a joint session of Congress.
Biden also traveled to Ukraine in February to meet with Zelensky in Kyiv.
— Updated at 1:56 p.m.