WASHINGTON ― Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will give a virtual address to Congress on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced.
“The Congress remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face Putin’s cruel and diabolical aggression, and to passing legislation to cripple and isolate the Russian economy as well as deliver humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine,” the two Democrats wrote in a letter to all lawmakers on Monday. “We look forward to the privilege of welcoming President Zelenskyy’s address to the House and Senate and to convey our support to the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend democracy.”
All members of Congress are invited to hear from the foreign leader, who has refused to leave Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, as Russian forces continue their bloody advance into the country.
Zelenskyy previously addressed all members of the U.S. Senate during a private video call earlier this month. It’s unclear whether this week’s address will be made public.
Congress last week approved nearly $14 billion in humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine as it struggles to repel a Russian invasion. President Joe Biden over the weekend also approved an additional $200 million in weapons for Ukraine, bringing the total security aid provided to the country since January to $1.2 billion.
But the Biden administration has so far resisted one of Zelenskyy’s top requests: the imposition of a no-fly zone over Ukraine in an effort to protect civilians from Russian airstrikes. White House officials have argued that such a move could put U.S. planes and pilots at risk of engagement with Russian troops, heightening the risk of a broader nuclear war.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also noted in an interview with CNN over the weekend that a no-fly zone may not prove as effective due to reliance by Russian troops on artillery, rather than simply fighter jets.