Nancy Pelosi visits Kyiv, meets with Ukraine president

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Footage released early Sunday by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office showed Pelosi in Kyiv with a Congressional delegation including representatives Jason Crow, Jim McGovern and Adam Schiff….reports Asian Lite News

US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has met with Ukraine’s president during a visit to the country’s embattled capital, Kyiv.

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice president, 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.

Footage released early Sunday by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office showed Pelosi in Kyiv with a Congressional delegation including representatives Jason Crow, Jim McGovern and Adam Schiff.

“You all are welcome,” Zelensky told the delegation.

Pelosi told Zelensky: “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.

The visit was not previously announced.

Blinken, Ukraine FM Kuleba discuss return of US diplomats

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday discussed the return of American diplomats to Ukraine as well as an aid of USD 33 billion to the war-torn country with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to follow up on their April 24 meeting in Kyiv,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a state department readout.

“The Secretary emphasized the United States’ robust support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s brutal aggression,” the readout said.

“The Secretary provided an update on plans for U.S. diplomats to return to Ukraine, including initial visits to Lviv this week and plans to return to Kyiv as soon as possible. The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed the Administration’s April 28 request to Congress for USD 33 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian aid to empower Ukraine to defeat the Kremlin’s unconscionable war,” the statement added.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden asked the US Congress for $33 billion in emergency supplemental funding to support Ukraine, including $20 billion for military assistance. The request comes on top of about $4 billion in military aid the Biden administration has already committed to Ukraine, $3.4 billion of which came after Russia launched its military operation in late February, Sputnik reported.

Secretary of State Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv last week and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During their visit, Blinken and Austin said that US diplomats were going to return to Ukraine in the coming week.

US diplomats, who relocated to Poland in advance of Russia’s operation, conducted a day trip to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where many of Ukraine’s decision-makers had relocated from Kyiv, media reports said.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after recognizing the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent republics”. Russia claims that the aim of its special operation is to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine which has entered its third month now has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with more than 5 million Ukrainian fleeing to neighbouring Western countries, according to the UNHCR data.

The war has also resulted in almost 3000 civilian casualties as of April 28. The casualty figures include as many as 70 children, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNOHCR).

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