A great reception for Zelensky… Biden’s bulldozer, Pelosi’s kiss, and Congressional applause
From the first moment of the arrival of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington, the visit carried a set of historical scenes for him inside the White House and Congress.
In addition to the importance of his trip to Washington, it is Zelensky’s first foreign visit since Moscow launched its own military operation against his country last February.
A warm welcome by US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden-Pzelensky began on the South Lawn of the White House, shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday.
As usual since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Zelensky wore, on his visit to Washington, a khaki sweater and pants, and brown boots, while maintaining his beard.
In the East Hall, which was decorated like the rest of the White House with Christmas decorations, Zelensky was asked about the message he would like to send to the Americans, and he said, “I wish you peace. I wish you to see your children alive.”
As for US President Joe Biden, he stood next to Zelensky, wearing a navy suit and a yellow tie, similar to the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
After that, Zelensky presented a gift to Biden, a medal he received on Tuesday at the front from a Ukrainian soldier, whom he described as a “real hero,” explaining that he is a captain who operates a system to launch American HIMARS missiles.
And the Ukrainian president added, “He told me: Give it to the president,” presenting Biden with a medal placed in a box embroidered with velvet.
The US President replied that it was a “great honor,” noting that he, in turn, wanted to present this Ukrainian soldier with an American medal.
“You are the man of the year,” Biden added to Zelensky about Time magazine’s decision to choose him as the Person of the Year 2022.
Here is Congress
A quick and lightning trip by the Ukrainian president, which he concluded with a speech to the US Congress on Wednesday evening.
Members of the US Congress in both chambers applauded Zelensky at the start of his speech in the Capitol.
At the end of his historic address, the Ukrainian president presented the Congress with a Ukrainian flag he had brought with him from the battlefield.
Zelensky told members of Congress in both chambers that this flag is a gift from the Ukrainian military who are fighting on the front line in Bakhmut, the city he visited on Tuesday, on the eve of his first trip abroad since the start of the war.
On the other hand, the President of Ukraine stood carrying the American flag, which was presented to him by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, before giving him a kiss of honor.
Zelensky concludes his historic visit to the United States with this speech to the American lawmakers whom he must persuade to continue funding the vital military assistance that the United States provides to his country to counter the Russian forces.