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U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday where she and some of her Democratic colleagues met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy welcomed the delegation, shaking the lawmakers’ hands on a street in the capital city ahead of their meeting, according to a video tweeted by the Ukrainian president Sunday morning.
“You all are welcome,” Zelenskyy can be heard saying.
The Democratic delegation included: Chairman Jim McGovern, Chairman Gregory Meeks, Chairman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Bill Keating and Congressman Jason Crow.
Not all the members entered Ukraine or met with Zelenskyy.
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.
PELOSI MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO KYIV, REAFFIRMS U.S. COMMITMENT TO UKRAINE IN MEETING WITH ZELENSKYY
During a meeting later in the day, Pelosi affirmed the United States‘ commitment to helping Ukraine.
“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,” Pelosi said. “Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”
In a separate statement, Pelosi’s office said the Democratic delegation would work on approving a new $33 billion aid package President Joe Biden requested.
“Our Congressional Delegation had the solemn opportunity and extraordinary honor of meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian officials in Kyiv,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement.
BIDEN REQUESTS $33B FROM CONGRESS FOR UKRAINE EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING
“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” the office continued. “Our meeting with President Zelenskyy began with him thanking the United States for the substantial assistance that we have provided. He conveyed the clear need for continued security, economic and humanitarian assistance from the United States to address the devastating human toll taken on the Ukrainian people by Putin’s diabolic invasion – and our delegation proudly delivered the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package.”
Pelosi added: “Our delegation conveyed our respect and gratitude to President Zelenskyy for his leadership and our admiration of the Ukrainian people for their courage in the fight against Russia’s oppression.”
BIDEN ANNOUNCES ANOTHER $800 MILLION IN MILITARY ASSISTANCE FOR UKRAINE
Shortly after the meeting, the group left Ukraine en route to Warsaw, Poland, Pelosi added.
Zelenskyy tweeted after the meeting, via a translation: “The United States is a leader in Ukraine’s strong support in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state!”
Зустріч зі спікером Палати представників Конгресу США @SpeakerPelosi в Києві. Сполучені Штати є лідером потужної підтримки України в боротьбі з агресією РФ. Дякуємо, що допомагаєте захищати суверенітет і територіальну цілісність нашої держави! pic.twitter.com/QXSBPFoGQh
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 1, 2022
BLINKEN, AUSTIN TO VISIT UKRAINE SUNDAY, ZELENSKYY SAYS
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to Ukraine where they discussed increasing the financial and military assistance the U.S. would provide Ukraine.
“In recent weeks, the pace, the number – everything has improved. I’m grateful for that,” Zelenskyy said after the meeting.
Shortly after the U.S. senior officials visited with Zelenskyy, Biden requested Congress approve an additional $33 billion in aid. Over $20 billion of the proposed assistance were for weapons.
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Last week, Biden announced another $800 million in security assistance to help Ukraine fight against Russian invaders in Luhansk and Donetsk.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and the Associated Press contributed to this report.