Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington like Winston Churchill 81 years ago, just days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The first visit of the Ukrainian president abroad in nearly a year of war marks the beginning of a new phase of the struggle against Russia and the strengthening of the alliance with the United States as Joe Biden announces a new arms package of nearly two billion dollars, including the Patriots, and guarantees Kyiv’s support as long as he is That is necessary, while the Kremlin reacts angrily, warning that there will be no progress in the peace talks. “The United States wants a just peace for Ukraine,” Biden said in the first minutes of his meeting with Zelensky, after welcoming him with an affectionate hug, accompanied by his wife, Jill, upon his arrival at the White House. The two leaders last met in the Oval Office in September 2021, when an invasion of Russia was only a threat. At that time, Zelensky wore a blue suit and tie of the same color, a relaxed figure and a clean-shaven face. Today his face is painted and he is wearing the now famous military uniform. A historic visit, which was agreed upon during a phone call between the two leaders last December 11, was confirmed only last Sunday and was kept secret until Tuesday evening for obvious security reasons. A trip so sensitive that the White House didn’t even broadcast Biden’s weekly show over the weekend, as is customary, raising some suspicions among journalists who are accustomed to knowing in detail every move of the US president. However, no one expected Zelensky to come to the US capital. Already at their last meeting more than a year ago, Biden assured the Ukrainian president of his support in defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. After three hundred days of war, the administration’s commitment to use remains unchanged. “We will continue to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself, especially with regard to anti-aircraft systems,” Biden stressed. However, the aid will not include the coveted Atacms, giant long-range missiles capable of hitting up to 300 kilometers, and therefore also likely into Russian territory, but sophisticated systems capable of curbing Moscow’s constant attacks on the village’s strategic infrastructures. Even during the hours when Zelensky was in Washington, sirens continued to sound across the country. The Ukrainian president, making it clear that “the war is not over,” thanked Biden for the help “from the bottom of his heart.” “I am here to continue cooperation to bring our victory closer. Next year we will have to return the Ukrainian flag and freedom to our people,” the Ukrainian leader vowed. US assistance is not limited to weapons. The $1.7 trillion federal budget that Congress will approve Friday also includes $45 billion in aid to Ukraine, which exceeds Biden’s request of $37 billion. To date, in the field of military, economic and humanitarian aid, the United States has already provided nearly $68 billion in financing to Kyiv. It is no coincidence that the US President received Zelensky at the end of the year, before the Republicans resumed control of the House of Representatives in January. The US president wants to ensure that Congress continues to support Ukraine in a partisan and pressured manner, cornering members of the old big party who have threatened not to write “blank checks” in Kyiv anymore. Zelensky’s appeal on Capitol Hill, nine months after his virtual appeal, should do just that, just as Churchill in 1941 cemented the coalition that would win World War II and build the modern democratic world.
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