Biden renews US’s commitment to Ukraine in meeting with Zelensky

Washington has provided Ukraine with $19.3 billion in military help during the war and Biden is expected to announce $2 billion in further military assistance

President Joe Biden welcomed Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House on Wednesday (December 21) with renewed assurances of US support amid Russia’s continued onslaught on Ukraine.

“Thank you first of all,” Zelenskiy told the US president. “It’s a great honor to be here.”

Zelensky also presented Biden with a military medal from an officer in Ukraine’s army. The medal had been awarded to the soldier who asked Zelenskiy to give it to “a very brave President.”

Zelensky’s meeting with Biden marks a high point in ties between Ukraine and its most important ally, putting the spotlight on a relationship strengthened by Russia’s invasion, but not without some friction along the way.

The visit, which is Zelenskiy’s first trip outside of Ukraine since the war started, will also underscore the trust between the two countries with a White House meeting, a visit to Congress and a focus on more weapons for Kyiv.

The United States has provided Ukraine with $19.3 billion in military help during the war. Biden will on Wednesday announce nearly $2 billion in further military aid, including a Patriot missile battery – one of the most advanced US air defense systems and one that is usually in short supply with allies around the world vying for it.