In a moving speech to a joint session of the US Congress that received him with a standing ovation despite skepticism from some pro-Trump lawmakers, Zelenskyy said, “Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in global security and democracy that we manage most responsibly.”
Ukraine’s president made a whirlwind half-day trip to Washington DC, brought here by a US military plane, to meet with President Biden, key US lawmakers and address the American people, even as the establishment American folded a massive military support of 45 billion dollars. to fend off Russia in a domestic spending bill. Biden also announced that he would send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine to counter Russian missile attacks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: “We will never go” to visit the United States
But Zelensky said more would be needed even as some angry lawmakers and activists pointed out that the nearly $100 billion the United States had committed to the war effort exceeded the United States’ annual defense budget. Russia of 65 billion dollars.
“$100 billion for Ukraine. Let’s put that into perspective. That’s over $200 million this year from every congressional district. What could your congressman have done for your district with $200 million? How long will the children in your district be paying interest on this debt?” asked Congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican lawmaker who said Americans are “growing tired of funding this war.”
Massie was among several right-wing lawmakers who boycotted Zelensky’s speech, while other pro-Trump lawmakers like Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz did not join in the bipartisan majority ovation.
Zelensky also came under fierce attack from former President Donald Trump’s son, Trump Jr, who called him an “ungrateful international queen of welfare,” while the Fox host News, Tucker Carlson, accused him of dressing like the “manager of a strip club demanding money” in the middle of the United States. own misfortunes of the States.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is greeted as a hero at the White House on his first trip abroad after the Russian invasion
But Zelensky, dressed in an olive green camouflage sweatshirt, struck a chord with many moderate lawmakers from both parties, warning that the battle to defeat Russia “cannot be frozen or postponed. It cannot be ignored. , hoping the ocean or something else will provide protection.”
“From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America and from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected and interdependent to allow anyone to stand apart and even time to feel safe when such a battle continues,” he warned. , conjuring up the sad picture of a cold, bleak Christmas that Ukrainians would endure in pursuit of victory even as Russia decimates its energy infrastructure.
Zelensky also sought to provoke US lawmakers by drawing attention to what he projected as a “terrorist” alliance between Russia and Iran.
Despite the emotional connection between Zelensky and establishment politicians in Washington, the American public is increasingly worried about the financing of another distant war.
Hours after meeting Zelensky, President Biden, who withdrew from Afghanistan because he did not want the United States involved in an “endless war”, tweeted that the United States is pledged to support the Ukrainian people “as long as necessary”.