Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

Biden, Zelenskyy to meet in DC before Ukrainian president addresses Congress: White House

This comes as Congress is considering $45 billion in funding for Ukraine.

December 21, 2022, 1:01 AM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to visit the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to meet with President Joe Biden and address a joint meeting of Congress, according to the White House.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement early Wednesday morning, saying the president invited Zelenskyy to visit Washington "to underscore the United States' enduring commitment to Ukraine."

"President Biden looks forward to welcoming President Zelenskyy today, December 21, at the White House, after which President Zelenskyy will address the joint meeting of Congress, demonstrating the strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine," Jean-Pierre said. "Three hundred days ago, Russia launched a brutal assault against Ukraine. In response, President Biden rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Zelenskyy confirmed early Wednesday that he was on his way to the U.S. and will have discussions with Biden, adding: "I will also have a speech at the Congress and a number of bilateral meetings."

The trip will be his first travel outside of his country since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began 10 months ago.

"During the visit, President Biden will announce a significant new package of security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression," Jean-Pierre said. "The visit will underscore the United States' steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes, including through the provision of economic, humanitarian and military assistance."

Sources on Tuesday confirmed to ABC News that plans were underway for Zelenskyy to visit the Capitol on Wednesday to address Congress.

PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets soldiers at the site of the heaviest battles with Russian invaders in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Dec. 20, 2022, in this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meets soldiers at the site of the heaviest battles with Russian invaders in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Dec. 20, 2022, in this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

The trip comes as Congress is considering $45 billion in funding for Ukraine. Earlier Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged all members to be present at votes "for a very special focus on Democracy Wednesday night."

Zelenskyy, who enjoys broad bipartisan support on the Hill despite some Republican calls for more oversight of U.S. aid, has addressed Congress before -- remotely -- on March 16, some three weeks into Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At the time, he thanked Congress but called on the U.S. to do more for his country. He invoked the words of Martin Luther King Jr. -- "I have a dream" -- and said "I have a need" to protect Ukraine.

At the end of the roughly 16-minute speech, he addressed Biden directly: "You are the leader of the nation … I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace."

ABC News' Justin Gomez and Lauren Minore contributed to this report.

Related Topics