Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at the White House in Washington where he was received by US President Joe Biden on December 21, 2022.
Zelensky said that it is a great honour to be in the White House. And that the war is not over. In the Oval Office he thanked Joe Biden, Congress and the American people for their support for Ukraine.
Then, he presented the US president with a star medal for military valour that he received yesterday at the front in Bakhmut. Biden said Zelensky is the man of the year, that he and his people are an inspiration: ‘We are with you, at your side. The Ukrainians with their courage are an inspiration to the world’.
The US wants a ‘just peace’, said Biden on receiving Zelensky. Then he tweets: ‘America welcomes you, Mr President’.
Zelensky in Washington, the joint press conference with Biden
“We have reached the 300th day of a brutal and unprovoked attack that Russia has launched against Ukraine,” Joe Biden said in the White House press conference with Zelensky. “You will never be alone,” the US president assured.
“Ukraine’s fight is part of something bigger. Americans stand up to the bullies and fight for freedom,” Biden stressed. “Ukraine has broken Russia’s expectations in every possible way,” Biden said again. “The United States will support you for as long as it takes,” the US president added.
“Light will prevail over darkness,” Biden said, “hope will prevail over despair. This year has brought incredible suffering to the Ukrainian people. But I want to remind you that the United States is with you and will be with you for as long as it takes.”
Zelensky in Washington, what the American President said
Biden spoke of the new weapons in aid of Kiev. “Patriot systems will be a critical asset for Ukraine in its defence against Russian aggression” and announced the new $1.85 billion arms package. “I have never seen Nato and the EU more united than this,” Biden said, stressing that there is no let-up in “support and solidarity” with Ukraine.
“We all know what’s at stake here, it’s been since World War II since a European country was attacked,” he added. The Ukrainian president “is open to pursuing a just peace”, while “we know that Putin has no intention of ending this cruel war“.
What Zelensky said in the joint conference
Zelensky made an important clarification. “It is difficult to say what a just peace is. For me as president a just peace is no compromise on the sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity of my country‘. On the Patriots: ‘What will happen after the Patriots are installed? We will send another signal to President Biden that we would like more Patriots. We are at war, sorry,’ Zelensky added, smiling.
For his part, Biden clarified: ‘Sending Patriots is not escalation, they are defensive systems‘. Again: ‘Zelensky will talk to Putin after defeating him on the battlefield’. Putin who has ‘destroyed our lives’ and ‘could invade other territories’, Zelensky says.
The results of the talks: new military aid package
The US has announced the approval of a new military aid package for Ukraine, worth nearly $2 billion, i including the delivery of Patriot missiles.
This was anticipated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, pointing out that the additional assistance includes $850 million for security and $1 billion in air defence capabilities and precision strikes.
It is the US itself that will guarantee the security of the historic visit, both on the outward and return journey, White House Security Council spokesman John Kirby pointed out.