Ukraine’s leader in US for first foreign trip since war began

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is on his way to Washington, where he will meet US President Joe Biden on Wednesday. It is his first foreign trip since Russia invaded in February. Details of how and when he travelled are unlikely to be made public, given the security risks involved.

The White House confirmed it would supply Ukraine with a Patriot missile system, significantly increasing the country’s air defence capability.

“On my way to the US to strengthen resilience and defense capabilities of Ukraine,” Mr Zelensky wrote on Twitter.

He also said he would give a speech to Congress and hold a number of meetings.

The visit was, unsurprisingly, kept as a secret, with official confirmation coming only hours before it was due to start.

The US has been Ukraine’s most important ally in the war, committing $50bn of humanitarian, financial and security assistance.

Mr Zelensky has held regular phone calls with Western leaders since the start of the war. But by hosting him at the White House, President Biden will signal that Washington is committed to supporting the country for “as long as it takes”.

Russia said the visit would lead to an “aggravation of the conflict”.



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