Today, after Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskyy arrived in Washington, DC to meet with President Biden and deliver an address to a Joint Session of Congress, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“This is a daring and historic trip by a wartime President. It’s the first time President Volodmyr Zelenskyy has been away from his nation since Putin launched his illegal invasion more than ten months ago.
“President Zelenskyy is here to confer with allies and thank the American people for their vital support. He knows that American and international military assistance has been absolutely critical to Ukraine’s defense. From U.S.-supplied HIMARs, Javelins, Stingers, Howitzers, and drones, to European-supplied missiles and artillery, the Ukrainians are employing these defensive resources to impressive effect.
“Both presidents know public support is vital to halt Putin’s invasion. I expect President Zelenskyy will make a strong case for Congress to pass a bipartisan appropriations package that delivers needed, life-saving aid to Ukraine without further delay. He will stress that his fight is our fight in terms of shared values like freedom, democracy, and self-determination.
“His audience tonight is a joint meeting of Congress, but he’ll also be speaking directly to Vladimir Putin. President Zelenskyy’s presence in the U.S. Capitol sends a powerful message: Ukraine is welcomed and admired on the world stage, while Russia is an increasingly isolated and shunned state.
“President Biden deserves credit for leading the international community to support Ukraine in its defense against this invasion. It is no easy task to hold such a diverse coalition together.
“This is not a zero sum endeavor. Assistance to Ukraine is an investment in American national security and our allies in Europe.
“As Putin’s invasion drags on, the outcome of this conflict hangs in the balance. The American people continue to stand in support of Ukraine while cracks are deepening amongst Russian oligarchs.
“I will listen carefully to President Zelenskyy’s speech and will continue working with President Biden and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in defense of freedom, democracy, and America’s enduring interests.”
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