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In the Oval Office where the meeting with Zelenskyy took place, President Biden did not answer shouted questions, including about a Reuters report on Biden asking former Afghan President Ghani to convey inaccurate information on the Taliban insurgency and about Biden looking at his watch during the recent casket return ceremony for US troops killed in Kabul.
President Zelenskyy arrived at the West Wing doors at 1:58 PM in a black SUV. He was greeted by the U.S. Chief of Protocol.
Earlier today President Biden said on Twitter that he looked forward to welcoming President Zelenskyy to the White House “to reaffirm America’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”
In the Oval Office, President Biden and President Zelenskyy were seated in chairs near the fireplace.
Biden spoke of wanting “a Europe whole, free and at peace” and opposing “Russian aggression.” He said that he wanted to talk about distributing COVID-19 vaccines, among other issues, and reminisced about a past visit to Ukraine. Biden said he wanted to visit the country again.
Zelenskyy’s introductory remarks were not in English. A translator relayed pleasantries and his condolences for US troops in Afghanistan.
In his introductory remarks, Zelenskyy mentioned the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and a variety of other issues. He also noted the war deaths in eastern Ukraine.
“The United States is our strategic partner and supporter of our sovereignty, and our territorial integrity,” he said through interpreter. Zelenskyy thanked President Biden for sending more than 2 million vaccines to Ukraine and for additional 60 million dollars in military assistance.
Zelenskyy also said that they will talk about situation in Donbass and “Ukrainian Crimea occupied by the Russian Federation, as well as security in the Black Sea, and security in the Azov Sea region”.
Who was at the meeting?
According to the Ukrainian Embassy, the following officials will join President Zelenskyy at the Oval Office:
- Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak,
- Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba,
- Defense minister Andiy Taran,
- Energy minister Herman Galushchenko
- Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Oksana Markarova,
- Deputy Head of the President’s Office Andriy Sybiga.
On the U.S. side:
- The President
- Antony Blinken, Secretary of State
- Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy
- Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Kristina Kvien, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine
- Amanda Sloat, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council
- Christopher Smith, Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, National Security Council
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