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Ukrainian ambassador says Pelosi visit to Kyiv is ‘very symbolic’

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova on Sunday hailed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) surprise trip to Kyiv with other Democratic lawmakers, saying it was an important symbolic reflection of deep support for the country.

“We’re very happy that right after a visit of Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin, right after the visit of our prime minister here, it was a special delight to see Madam Speaker with the delegation in Kyiv meeting with our president,” Markarova told anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a week ago. Pelosi met with Zelensky on Saturday but only made the trip public on Sunday for security reasons.

The ambassador said Pelosi’s visit to Ukraine was “yet another sign of a very, very strong support that Ukraine has here, the United States.”

“We feel and we know that Americans are our brothers and sisters in this fight for freedom for democracy,” she said.

“As we are about to review here in the United States the next package of support to Ukraine, which President Biden submitted recently to Congress, I believe it’s very symbolic that Speaker Pelosi visited Ukraine,” she added.

Pelosi’s visit came days after President Biden asked Congress to authorize $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine for security assistance, weapons, military aid and economic and humanitarian assistance, among other needs.

Pelosi and six other Democratic lawmakers met with Zelensky in Ukraine for three hours. The congressional delegation wrote in a statement that it visited Ukraine “to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine.”

They then traveled to Poland and are slated to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and other senior officials.

Markarova criticized Russia’s continued assault on her country, which is now focused on the east but has included new bombings of Kyiv.

“We do not see the change of their behavior. They’re doubling down in the south and east of the country. They’re still not letting civilians out or the wounded out of Mariupol. Unfortunately, we do not see the changes in behavior yet,” she said.

Tags Andrzej Duda Antony Blinken George Stephanopoulos Joe Biden Lloyd Austin Nancy Pelosi Oksana Markarova Volodymyr Zelensky

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