Updated May 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nancy Pelosi leads U.S. delegation to Kyiv, meets with Ukraine's president

Pelosi and Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R-C) meets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (L-C) in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 1. Photo: Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday led a congressional delegation to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

Why it matters: The visit is a reflection of the growing pressure for the U.S. to send high-level officials to Kyiv, after recent visits by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the prime ministers of Spain and Denmark.

  • It comes less than a week after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine.

What we're watching: The trip, which was not previously announced, also includes House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Bill Keating (D-Mass.).

  • During the meeting, Zelensky conveyed the clear need for continued security and economic and humanitarian assistance from the U.S. The congressional delegation assured him that additional American support is on its way, according to Pelosi's office.
  • Zelensky also awarded Pelosi with "the Order of Princess Olga" for her "significant personal contribution" to strengthening the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship.
President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 1. Photo: Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What they're saying: "Your fight is a fight for everyone. So our commitment is to be here for you until the fight is done," Pelosi said.

  • 'The United States is a leader in Ukraine’s strong support in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state!" Zelenksy said.

"It was a special delight to see Madame Speaker with the delegation in Kyiv, meeting with our president," said Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

  • "I think it is yet another sign of the very, very strong support that Ukraine has here in the United States. We feel and we know that Americans are our brothers and sisters in this fight for freedom for democracy."

Between the lines: For the time being, the White House has ruled out sending President Biden, citing security concerns.

What's next: "Our delegation will now continue our travels in Poland, where we will meet with President Andrzej Duda and senior officials.  We look forward to thanking our Polish allies for their dedication and humanitarian efforts," Pelosi said in a statement early Sunday.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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