Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi led a group of Democrats in a secret congressional delegation to Ukraine Saturday, marking the first such official visit.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. government official to visit the country. Massachusetts Reps. Jim McGovern and Bill Keating, California Reps. Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff, New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, and Colorado Rep. Jason Crow. Two Republicans, Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz and Montana Sen. Steve Daines, also visited the war-torn country.
The lawmakers met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy for several hours, and also toured the streets of Kyiv, according to a video posted to Zelenskyy’s official Twitter account. Pelosi promised Zelenskyy to “be there for you until the fight is done.”
“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine. Our meeting with President Zelenskyy began with him thanking the United States for the substantial assistance that we have provided. He 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 – 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,” the Democratic delegation said in a statement.
President Joe Biden requested a new aid package of $33 billion for Ukraine on Thursday. The package would provide more weapons, food, medicine, and money for much needed government services. Congress previously approved $13.6 billion in aid as part of the 2022 fiscal year appropriations package.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine and met with Zelenskyy on April 24. Several prominent heads of state including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have also visited the country since the war began.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have not traveled to Ukraine, citing security risks. Russia continues to bomb civilian areas of the country.