Dobriansky: Zelenskyy’s visit to US is “an obligation for a leader”

December 13,2023 494
Dobriansky: Zelenskyy’s visit to US is “an obligation for a leader”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is actively demonstrating his commitment to leadership by engaging with U.S. senators to secure crucial support for Ukraine. Andriy Dobriansky, Director of Communications of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Chair of the UWC Committee on Relations with the United Nations, highlighted this strategic effort during an interview with NewsNation, an American media outlet.

It’s definitely not a time when you [Ukraine] want to have your biggest partner pull out, and that’s really why President Zelenskyy is here. He is here because if the United States doesn’t pass this now, it’s more than likely … that the senators will need more time, even with many senators willing to stay through Christmas. It’s not something you can negotiate overnight. But what kind of President would he be if he didn’t come here to the United States while he has people manning the frontlines in the middle of winter, sitting in trenches, covered in snow? This is an obligation for a leader, no matter what the situation is going forward, for the next couple of months…Dobrianskyi said.

Ukraine’s President undertook a two-day visit to the United States on December 11-12. Zelenskyy addressed a meeting of American senators, urging them to approve additional funding for Ukraine to support its resistance against Russian aggression. He also briefed American senators on Ukraine’s military and economic situation, emphasizing the importance of maintaining support from the United States. The Ukrainian leader characterized the Senate discussion as “friendly and candid.”

I am grateful to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for their personal leadership in rallying bipartisan support for Ukraine among U.S. legislators,” the president said.

Zelenskyy’s meeting with senators was “very powerful,” Schumer said. “If he gets the help he needs, he will win. If we lose, Putin wins, and this is very, very dangerous for the United States,” the Senate Majority Leader said in comments to CNN.

During the visit, the Ukrainian leader also met with heads of U.S. defense companies and proposed the establishment of a European Defense Hub in Ukraine. Zelenskyy believes this initiative will expedite and enhance the production of military equipment and ammunition in the country.

Zelenskyy also met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson. The President expressed gratitude to the US Congress “for strong support” in protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The President informed Johnson about the achievements of the Ukrainian military, “including liberating half of the land occupied by Russia since 2022, winning the battle for the Black Sea, and reforming the country to make it self-sufficient in the future.” Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of continuing American support to assist Ukraine in the coming year.

However, after the meeting, the Speaker of the House of Representatives told journalists that “the Biden administration seems to be asking for is billions of additional dollars with no appropriate oversight, no clear strategy to win and none of the answers that I think the American people are owed.”

Simultaneously, in a speech at the US National Defense University, Zelenskyy pointed out that unresolved issues in the US only serve to encourage Putin.

If there’s anyone inspired by unresolved issues on Capitol Hill, it’s just Putin and his sick clique. They see the dreams come true when they see the delays and scandals. They see freedom falling when the support of freedom fighters goes down. People like Putin shouldn’t even hope to conquer freedom,” Ukraine’s president said.

The visit to the USA ended with a meeting between the President of Ukraine and the President of the USA. Joe Biden announced that he had signed a decree to allocate US$200 million in military aid to Ukraine.

“I just signed another US$200 million drawdown [in military aid – ed.] for the Department of Defence for Ukraine, and that’ll be coming quickly,” Biden said.

The American leader assured Zelenskyy that the United States “will stand by your side” even if the Republicans block the aid package.

We do know from the United States own admission that 90% of that money is remaining in the United States. This is money that goes to pay people of jobs, working class jobs, skill jobs, metal workers, who put together artillery shells, people who are invested in working for the United States defense industry across many states. … Our people in the United States are getting good paying jobs because of this funding. And let’s make sure that we settle this now, that’s why Zelenskyy is here and what he talked about at the defense university. Finish it now. Otherwise, this is just going to keep coming back year after year from Russia,” Dobriansky said.

The US Congress has still not approved Biden’s request for additional funding to help Ukraine due to the opposition of some Republicans. On December 6, the bill on providing assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan did not pass a procedural vote in the Senate.

Cover: NewsNation

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