House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise trip to Kyiv as part of the first congressional delegation to the capital since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
Pelosi and her delegation, who made the visit on Saturday, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in person to discuss the United States's efforts to support Ukraine's defense.
"Meeting with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives in Kyiv," Zelensky said in a tweet. "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!"
PENTAGON SPOKESMAN CHOKES UP CONDEMNING RUSSIAN 'DEPRAVITY' IN UKRAINE
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
Pelosi echoed these sentiments.
"Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine," the California Democrat said in a press statement. The Speaker was joined by several Democratic lawmakers, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory W. Meeks, and Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern.
Zelensky "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," Pelosi added. "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 traveled to Poland after her meeting with Zelensky to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda to thank the country for their "dedication and humanitarian efforts" before returning to the U.S.
The speaker emphasized that the U.S. should not be "bullied" when asked about sending aid to Ukraine without provoking Russia. “Let me speak for myself … do not be bullied by bullies. If they’re making threats, you cannot back down. That’s my view of it,” Pelosi said at a Sunday press conference before emphasizing the U.S. commitment to stand with Ukraine.
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Pelosi's trip comes days after President Joe Biden asked Congress for $33 billion more in military and economic aid for Ukraine for the next five months. The request cleared the House on Thursday and went to Biden for his expected signature.
The conflict is now more than two months old. A mass grave of 900 Ukrainians was found on Friday, according to Zelensky. Russia also fired several missiles into Kyiv immediately after Zelensky met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday.