The meeting, which was previously undisclosed and has not been officially announced, will follow after Zelenskyy’s previously scheduled appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday in New York. While it’s unclear what is set to occur during the meeting next week, the news comes as the Biden administration has been considering sending long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems to Ukraine, The New York Times reported.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict began in February 2022 when Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv in what he called a “special military operation,” which he claimed aimed to force “Nazis” to free ethnic Russians in the region.
The war initially shocked the world. However, 19 months into the war, a CNN poll published in August found that a majority of Americans do not support the U.S. sending additional aid to Ukraine: According to the poll, 55% of Americans said Congress should not authorize the additional funding.
The White House continues to be steadfast in its support for Ukraine. During a visit to Ukraine earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said that the U.S. would continue to support Ukraine in the war.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs, not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but has what it needs for the long term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent,” Blinken said.
This will be the second time that Zelenskyy has visited the U.S. since Putin waged war on Ukraine.
Zelenskyy visited the U.S. in December of last year. At the time, Zelenskyy declared to Congress that his country had been pushing through Russia’s attacks and asked for more support.
“Against all odds and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine didn’t fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking,” Zelenskyy said at the time in an address.
Biden and Zelenskyy also met in July of this year during the NATO summit in Lithuania. In a joint press conference with Zelenskyy ahead of that meeting, Biden said that Ukraine will eventually become a part of NATO.
“I hope we finally have put to bed the notion about whether or not Ukraine is welcome in NATO. It’s going to happen,” Biden said at the time. “We’re moving — you’re all moving in the right direction. I think it’s just a matter of getting by the next few months here.”
That same month, in an interview with CNN, Biden said Ukraine would only be ready for NATO membership after its war with Russia had ended.