Sitting for talks with President Volodomyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday, Joe Biden laid out his rationale for visiting the Ukrainian capital as the war enters a second year.
“I thought it was critical that there not be any doubt, none whatsoever, about US support for Ukraine in the war,” the US President said. “The Ukrainian people have stepped up in a way that few people ever have in the past.”
Biden emphasized there was broad, bipartisan support in Washington for the Ukrainian cause, even as some Republicans balk at providing further assistance.
“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine,” he said. “It’s not just about freedom in Ukraine … It’s about freedom of democracy at large,” he said.
Biden arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. local time, according to reporters traveling with him inside Ukraine.
“It’s good to be back in Kyiv,” Biden said when he arrived. He was greeted by the US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink.
Biden’s motorcade arrived to the Mariinsky Palace just after 8:30 a.m. local time. He was greeted at the entrance by Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska.
“Thank you for coming,” Zelensky said shaking Biden’s hand. “More importantly, how are the children?” Biden asked, while adding: “It’s amazing to see you.”
Asked about the significance of being in Kyiv, Biden noted it was his eighth visit to the city. “Each time more significant,” Biden said.
He added that the purpose of his visit was to convey to Zelensky that the US is “here to stay.” “We’re not leaving,” Biden said.