Ukrainian president to meet with Biden at White House in August
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the White House next month for a long-sought meeting in Washington, D.C., as Ukraine looks for international support in the face of Russian aggression.
Zelensky will meet with President Biden on Aug. 30. The White House billed the visit as a step to “affirm the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, our close cooperation on energy security, and our backing for President Zelensky’s efforts to tackle corruption and implement a reform agenda based on our shared democratic values.”
Zelensky has been appealing to the U.S. for a public show of support through an in-person meeting dating back to when he first took office in 2019. Next month’s meeting with Biden will be his first at the White House.
The Ukrainian president, who was elected in part on his platform promise to clean up corruption in the country’s government, was ensnared in former President Trump’s first impeachment investigation after a whistleblower report revealed that Trump had pressed Zelensky to investigate then-candidate Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.
President Biden spoke with Zelensky on the phone in June ahead of a trip to Europe where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky had urged Biden to meet with him prior to the Putin meeting in a show of support for Ukrainian sovereignty.
The White House has raised concerns about Russia’s continued occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and its aggression in the Donbas as Moscow amasses troops along the border. Another point of tension is likely to be Biden’s stance on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Zelensky has warned could give Russia leverage over the energy supply in Europe.