LONDON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday night, making her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded.
“We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom. … Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi told Zelensky while they met in Kyiv, in a video released by the Ukrainian leader.
Зустріч зі спікером Палати представників Конгресу США @SpeakerPelosi в Києві. Сполучені Штати є лідером потужної підтримки України в боротьбі з агресією РФ. Дякуємо, що допомагаєте захищати суверенітет і територіальну цілісність нашої держави! pic.twitter.com/QXSBPFoGQh
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 1, 2022
The full congressional delegation included a number of House leaders: Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chair of the House Intelligence Committee; Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Jason, D-Colo.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Bill Keating, D-Mass.
“You all are welcome,” Zelensky told the delegation following their initial meeting.
Like the recent Kyiv visit of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the congressional delegation did not publicize their trip in advance.
Schiff later told a news conference in Poland that he and the other U.S. lawmakers had a three-hour meeting with Zelensky and Ukrainian officials regarding sanctions, aid assistance and weapons. “This is a struggle of freedom against tyranny,” Schiff said.
Crow, a veteran, said he came to the country with three areas of focus: “Weapons, weapons and weapons.”
Russia has recently escalated its warnings to the U.S. for providing advanced weaponry to the Ukrainians, suggesting that the military aid could have “unpredictable consequences” and that the shipments themselves could become targets.
“Let me speak for myself: Do not be bullied by bullies,” Pelosi said at the news conference. “If they are making threats, you cannot back down.”
Zelensky used Twitter to thank the U.S. for “helping protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. The U.S. is leading strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.” He added: “We’ll win, and we’ll win together.”
The delegation continued to Poland’s capital of Warsaw to meet with President Andrzej Duda and senior Polish government officials. Poland, a NATO member and former Soviet satellite, has become an epicenter of both military equipment flowing east to Ukraine and refugees fleeing west. Poland has taken in an estimated 3 million refugees since the war began — a massive influx of people in such a short period of time.
“We look forward to thanking our Polish allies for their dedication and humanitarian efforts,” Pelosi said.