Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is appealing to US Republican lawmakers for additional aid during his speech to the US Congress. Zelenskiy made his first trip abroad since Russia invaded Ukraine with Ukrainian Americans offering support upon his arrival at the US Capitol.
“It is a great honour for me to be at the US Congress and speak to you and all Americans. against all doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking. We defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world. Your money is not charity, it’s an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way. This struggle will define in what world our children and grandchildren will live and then their children and grandchildren. The world is too interconnected and interdependent to allow someone to stay aside and at the same time to feel safe when such a battle continues.”
According to the Straits Times, Zelenskiy went on to thank the US for its aid to his country and insisted that the aid should not be viewed as charity. He then went on to reference former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who made efforts to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.
“Just like the brave American soldiers, which gave their lives and fought back Hitler’s forces during the Christmas of 1944, brave Ukrainian soldiers are doing the same….this Christmas.”
He also vowed to never surrender to Russia.
“Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender.”
Zelenskiy’s speech appeared to be a hardline stance against the Russian invasion, along with insisting the US keep sending resources to the country. Upon walking into the congressional hall, Zelenskiy received a standing ovation. Three members held up a large Ukrainian flag during the ovation.
His speech focused on bringing together a bipartisan audience of lawmakers, with the goal of convincing the House of Representatives Republicans to continue supporting his country. In recent months, the Republicans had voiced increasing scepticism about continuing to send aid to Ukraine.
As Congress is on the cusp of approving an additional US$44.9 billion in economic assistance and emergency military aid, Zelenskiy’s speech was perfect timing.