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Zelensky on Capitol Hill: “Economic aid to Ukraine is not charity; it is an investment in global security”


In his first The president addresses a special session to the US congressmen, who are studying a line of assistance to kyiv of 45,000 million dollars

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can boast a bewildering collection of appearances in parliaments around the world since the Russian invasion began on February 24, but until now he has never spoken before any of them in person.

The United States Capitol received it this Wednesday night to listen to it – this time, not through a screen – in a special joint session that was announced as “historic”.

And Zelensky picked up that gauntlet by filling his speech with references to heroic episodes of the past: from the Battle of Saratoga, the turning point of the American War of Independence, to President Franklin Roosevelt, leader of the country for much of World War II, or the "resistance of the allies against the Nazis at Christmas 1944".

All of this led Zelensky to a conclusion: the battle that is taking place right now in Europe is crucial, and that is why his troops need all the help they can get.

"We are in a position to change the course of the war," he declared.

Dressed in his everlasting battle green uniform, Zelensky was greeted by the congressmen with four minutes of cheers and applause that delayed the start of his speech, which he opened with the words "dear Americans."

“Against all odds, Ukraine did not fall.

It is alive and well, ”the leader proclaimed at the end of an intense day in Washington, in which he met with President Joe Biden at the White House.

It was Zelensky's first trip, and not without risk, outside Ukraine since the start of the war on Saturday, Christmas Day, 10 months ago.

“We defeated Russia.

We are not afraid.

Nobody should have it,” she continued.

“This victory should inspire the global community.

It is also from the Americans.

And Europe is more united and freer than ever.

Russian tyranny has lost its grip on us."

The Russians will also be free, only when they defeat the Kremlin in their minds."

“The Russians have a great advantage over us in the but still our forces resist.

We are very proud of them, ”he told the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who met in the Chamber of the Upper House.

His visit comes as Congress is considering whether to pass, before Democrats cede control of the House of Representatives, an omnibus bill that provides for many things, including a $45 billion aid line to Ukraine.

“We have artillery, yes, thank you.

It's enough?

No, honestly," Zelensky said.

“Your money is not charity, it is an investment in global security that we manage in the most responsible way”

The speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi received him in the halls of Congress at the end of a busy day at the White House.

Zelenski, who arrived by train at the Polish border to board a plane that landed in Washington at noon, met for two hours with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

Later, both attended the press in a room in the East wing.

Pelosi led the joint session in what will surely be her last major appearance before leaving next week a position she has held twice (from 2007 to 2011, and since 2019).

This position makes him the third authority in the country, after the vice president and the vice president, Kamala Harris, who did not want to miss the evening.

The Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives in the last midterm elections and its position is scheduled to be filled by California Republican Kevin McCarthy in the new year.

The veteran politician also drew on history, recalling that another "president at war", one Winston Churchill, addressed the US congressmen at the end of 1941. She knows this, because her father was a member of the House when Winston Churchill then spoke on the same, dramatic, stage.

“Eighty-one years later this week, it is particularly moving for me to be present as another heroic leader addresses Congress in a time of war, and with democracy itself at stake,” he wrote in a letter encouraging his colleagues to attend. to Zelensky's speech.

Despite Pelosi's best efforts, the floor was not completely full.

It's Christmas week in Washington, and few in a Congress living out its final weeks before its renewal counted on still being in the city.

As if that were not enough, a storm of epic proportions is coming to welcome the winter that promises to make travel hell through vast areas of the North of the country.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-12-22

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