Russian war of aggression: Zelenskyj expected in USA – Patriot anti-aircraft defense for Ukraine
Russian war of aggression
Zelenskyj expected in USA – Patriot anti-aircraft defense for Ukraine
Zelenskyi has not traveled abroad since the beginning of the war. Now he wants to go to Washington. The fact that the USA is his first target is probably also due to the fact that the Biden government is supporting Ukraine with billions.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected this Wednesday for his first trip abroad since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in the US capital Washington. The US government confirmed reports early Wednesday morning (local time).
In Washington, Selenskyj will be received by US President Joe Biden in the White House, among others, and will address the US Congress. According to the information, Biden also wants to announce during the meeting with his Ukrainian colleague that the USA will Ukraine will deliver the Patriot anti-aircraft system.
Zelenskyi has not left his country since the war began on February 24. For appearances on the political world stage – for example at the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria – he always had himself connected digitally from Ukraine. The Ukrainian traveled to the combat zone president several times – in contrast to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has never been to the front once.
Full program in Washington
According to the White House biden and Selenskyj spoke for the first time about a possible visit during a telephone call in mid-December. An official invitation followed later. The Ukrainian President will have a packed program during his visit to the US capital. Biden and Zelenskyj are planning a joint press conference. On Wednesday evening (local time), Zelenskyj is scheduled to give a speech to the US Congress. He will then start his journey home, it was said.
The US has provided Ukraine with billions in military aid since the beginning of the war. Biden will announce another nearly $2 billion military aid package on Wednesday, a senior US government official said. This will also include the Patriot anti-aircraft system. The announcement comes as no surprise. Recently there have been reports that the US government is considering such a delivery.
Soldiers should be trained for the system in a third country
According to experts, the Patriot air defense system is likely to reshuffle the cards in Ukraine attacked by Russia. It can repel aircraft, cruise missiles, drones or missiles even at a greater distance. The senior US official said Ukraine’s armed forces were being trained in a third country. He gave no further information on this. It is obvious and probable that Ukrainians – as is already the case with other weapon systems – will be trained in Germany, for example at the Grafenwöhr military training area in Bavaria.
Moscow recently warned Washington of a Patriot delivery. Like other heavy weapons, these complexes would become “legitimate priority targets” for Russian forces, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week in Moscow. The US government is already delivering Himars multiple rocket launchers and the Nasams air defense system to Ukraine.
US officials: send message to Putin and the world
“We are not looking for a direct war with Russia,” the US official said. And that will not change with Zelenskyj’s visit and the delivery of the Patriot battery. “It’s about sending a message to Putin and to the world that America will be there for Ukraine for as long as it takes.” The visit is also a good opportunity for the President of Ukraine to address the American people.
On Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress agreed on a draft budget that also includes billions in military aid. The package with a volume of 1.7 trillion US dollars (1.6 trillion euros) includes 44.9 billion US dollars (42.3 billion euros) in aid for Ukraine. However, the Senate and the House of Representatives still have to vote on the draft.
It is now Zelenskyj’s second visit to the White House since Biden took office. Most recently, Biden received his Ukrainian colleague Zelenskyj in Washington in the summer of 2021. Biden’s government had publicly warned early on of a Russian attack on Ukraine, citing intelligence information. Since invading Ukraine, the United States and its allies have imposed tough sanctions on Russia.