Jul 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ukraine's first lady meets with Blinken ahead of U.S. Congress address

Olena Zelenska, wife of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaks during an event in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska during a December event in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Kotenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday as part of her trip to the U.S. this week, during which she will address members of Congress at the Capitol.

The big picture: Zelenska's high-profile visit follows repeated calls from Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky for more aid as his country's forces fight Russia's invading military.

What they're saying: State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that Blinken emphasized during his meeting with Zelenska the U.S. "commitment to support Ukraine's victory."

  • "He reiterated that the United States will continue to provide assistance to help Ukraine respond to the significant economic and humanitarian challenges it faces, including supporting the first lady’s mental health initiative for citizens affected by the war," Price said.
  • "The secretary reiterated that the United States remains dedicated to helping the people of Ukraine recover and rebuild from the devastation inflicted on them by [Russian] President Putin's unjust war," he added.

What to watch: As well as speaking to lawmakers in the congressional auditorium at the U.S Capitol on Wednesday, Zelenska is scheduled to have her second in-person meeting with first lady Jill Biden, after she visited her Ukrainian counterpart during her trip to Eastern Europe this year.

Flashback: Zelensky urges Congress to "remember 9/11" as he pleads for more aid

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