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Zelensky expected to visit Washington as Congress debates $24 billion aid to Ukraine – Twin Cities

By STEPHEN GROVES, LISA MASCARO and MATTHEW LEE (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected at the White House and Capitol next week as he visits the United States for the United Nations General Assembly.

Zelensky’s trip comes as Congress debates President Joe Biden’s request to provide up to $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as it fights the Russian invasion.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive visit, said Zelensky would meet with Biden at the White House next Thursday. The trip to the Capitol was confirmed by two congressional aides who requested anonymity to discuss the plans.

The Ukrainian president made a wartime visit to Washington in December 2022 and delivered an impassioned speech to a joint meeting of Congress. At the time, it was his first known trip outside his country since the Russian invasion in February of that year.

In his speech to cheering lawmakers, Zelenskyy thanked Americans for helping fund the war effort and said the money was “not charity” but an “investment” in global security and democracy.

Details of Zelensky’s visit next week have not yet been made public. This was first reported by Punchbowl News.

The White House National Security Council declined to comment on Zelensky’s plans, including whether he would meet with Biden at the White House.

At the same time, the Treasury and State Departments announced they were imposing new sanctions on more than 150 individuals and entities linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States “continues its relentless work to target Russian military supply chains and deprive (Russian President Vladimir) Putin of equipment, technology and services he needs to wage his barbaric war against Ukraine.”

Congress is increasingly divided over the issue of providing additional funds to Ukraine as the war enters its second year. Biden requested a package of $13.1 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine and $8.5 billion in humanitarian support. It also includes $2.3 billion for financing and catalyzing donors through the World Bank.

But conservative Republican lawmakers have pushed for broad cuts in federal spending and some of those allied with Donald Trump, the former president, are specifically seeking to stop the money flowing to Ukraine.

Congress is working to pass its annual appropriations bills before the September 30 deadline to keep the U.S. government running.

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Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.


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