By William Skipworth Via Forbes
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House next week, multiple news organizations reported, citing people close to the matter—a big diplomatic showing amidst growing divisions over how much aid to send Ukraine.
The meeting will reportedly take place after Zelensky visits New York City for the United Nations General Assembly meetings.
Zelensky reportedly plans to use his appearance in the U.S. to urge world leaders, who will converge on the country for the UN meeting, for more support as the country fends off a Russian invasion.
This meeting comes 18 months after Russia invaded Ukraine, seeking to topple the government, and nine months after Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress.
Zelensky and Biden last met in Hiroshima, Japan, when the Ukrainian president joined world leaders from the Group of Seven diplomatic forum for their annual summit. This will be the second time he visits the White House. In December, Zelensky made his first trip outside of Ukraine since the war broke out to visit Biden and the White House. Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Zelensky in a surprise visit to Kyiv.
This visit comes amid a funding showdown between Biden and Republicans, who control the House of Representatives. Biden has asked for $24 billion in additional aid to send to Ukraine for its war effort, but many Republicans are skeptical of spending that much money. Republican lawmakers have threatened a government shutdown if Biden and Democrats don’t cut that aid as well as other areas of government spending.
While in the country, Zelensky will meet with a number of world leaders that haven’t taken a hard stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One of those leaders will be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government announced Thursday.
I am a Chicago-based breaking news reporter at Forbes. Prior to joining Forbes, I wrote for newspapers such as The Times of Northwest Indiana and The Washington Missourian. I also studied journalism at the University of Missouri. Follow me on Twitter @WillSkipworth or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org