Zelensky at the White House, interview with Biden

The Ukrainian president: “An honor, thanks to the US people”. The American president: “The Americans are with you, we will do what is needed for a just peace”

The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House for the meeting with US President Joe Biden. At the end, at 10.30 pm Italian time, a joint press conference of the two leaders is scheduled. Biden welcomed the Ukrainian president with a handshake. Next to the US leader, his wife Jill. The Ukrainian president showed up dressed in military green clothes. The two leaders then entered the White House and Biden accompanied Zelensky with a hand on his shoulder.

THE INTERVIEW – It is “a great honor” to be in the White House, to be able to personally thank the American president and “all the people” of the United States for their support for Ukraine, Zelensky said. The Ukrainian president then gave Biden a medal with a star for military valor that he received yesterday at the front in Bakhmut. ”Yesterday I was in Donbass” where he received a message from ”a hero at the front that I bring here”, he said. ”This person told me ‘tell President Biden that we appreciate his efforts. He is the captain”, Zelensky said, confirming that “she is absolutely the captain of President Biden”.

”It is an honor to have been welcomed by the president of the United States”, Zelensky then reiterated, adding: “Please accept my appreciation and thanks from the bottom of my heart and that of all Ukrainian men and women”, he said, expressing ”particular appreciation” for the leadership of the American president and for the support provided.

The situation being experienced in Ukraine is ”a difficult situation”, but the fact that President Zelensky was able to fly to Washington shows that the situation is also ”under control thanks to the support provided by the United States”, he said he added, emphasizing the ”great efforts” made by the Ukrainians in the field.

“The Americans are with her. The United States is on her side and on the side of the brave citizens of Ukraine,” Biden said later. “We will support Ukraine in pursuing a just peace” and “we will do what it takes to carry out a defense strategy, especially air defense. We will supply Ukraine with additional weapons, especially anti-aircraft,” he added.” You are the man of the year. You are absolutely the man of the year,” Biden said. Zelensky was crowned “person of the year” by Time magazine. “You are not only the man of the year for the world, but especially for us Americans. Welcome,” Biden said.

THE SECOND FACE TO FACE – This is the second face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Zelensky was elected president. The first bilateral dates back to September 1, 2021. According to a senior US administration official, the visit was discussed for the first time during a phone call on December 11. A formal invitation was sent to Zelensky on December 14 and the visit was only confirmed on Sunday, according to a White House statement.

WORDS ON LEADERS’ SOCIAL MEDIA – “I’m thrilled to have you here.” Thus the American president had tweeted about the arrival in Washington of the Ukrainian president, on his first trip abroad since the beginning of the war. ”We have so much to talk about”, added Biden who will soon receive Zelensky in the White House. Cbs explaining that he landed at Joint Base Andrews. ”I am in Washington today to thank the American people, the President and Congress for their much-needed support. And also to continue the collaboration that will bring our victory closer”, wrote the Ukrainian president on his social profiles during his visit to Washington. ”I will conduct a series of negotiations to strengthen Ukraine’s resilience and defense capabilities”, he continued, adding that ”in particular, we will discuss bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and the United States with US President Joe Biden’ ‘. Zelensky then promised that ”next year we will bring back the Ukrainian flag and freedom to all our land, to all our people”.

KIRBY – The United States has guaranteed the security of the Ukrainian president’s journey to Washington and will also do so for his return, said White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby meanwhile. “We are working hand-in-hand with Zelensky’s staff to ensure he can make this trip safely, both on his way to and from the United States,” Kirby said, adding, “We will continue to support his travel needs.” For obvious reasons, I won’t go into too much detail about the security measures that were taken to bring the Ukrainian president here,” he added.

The American president Joe Biden will talk to his Ukrainian counterpart about the need to arrive at ”a just peace” in Ukraine, Kirby later explained during the interview. President Biden, he said again, believed that ”the right time” had arrived to sit down at the table with the Ukrainian leader, given ”the approach of winter” and assessing that ”the war has entered into a new phase”.

“It is a good opportunity for the two leaders to come face to face and to talk not only about what the United States is doing now and will continue to do in the future,” added Kirby. As far as the Russian president is concerned, ”Putin is obviously not interested in diplomacy at the moment”, underlined Kirby. At the moment, therefore, according to the United States there is no possibility of ending the conflict through diplomatic channels .

WILL RUSSIA BECOME AN ‘AGGRESSOR STATE’? -According to CNN, which cites several sources, the United States could soon officially designate Russia as an “aggressor state” instead of a “sponsor of terrorism”. According to the sources, US officials are waiting to see if the Ukrainian president will approve the proposal during his speech to Congress. If he does, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could introduce a bill this week, well-informed sources told CNN.

”Aggressor state” is a less aggressive definition of ”state sponsor of terrorism”. The White House fears the latter could negatively affect ongoing diplomatic ties between the United States and Russia on issues such as prisoner swaps, the UN-brokered grain deal, cross-border aid to Syria and other humanitarian efforts.