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Trump and Zelensky at the UN in September. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters in Washington on Friday that Ukraine is still working to schedule a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: Kuleba emphasized that Ukraine needs strong support from the U.S. despite the current "turmoil" — a reference to impeachment proceedings. His status as the first member of Zelensky's government to visit Washington underlines the fact that Zelensky's own visit — which U.S. officials linked to Zelensky announcing investigations sought by President Trump — still has not happened.

  • Kuleba noted that Trump had invited Zelensky to Washington "in the immediate aftermath of the elections," and said "everything has to be worked out through diplomatic channels."

Background: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did have an Oval Office meeting with Trump this week, directly after negotiations in France on the war in Eastern Ukraine. Critics said it sent the wrong message about U.S. support for Ukraine.

  • The "Normandy Format" negotiations have provoked backlash against Zelensky from Ukrainians who believe he is about to negotiate away their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Kuleba said Zelensky was "ready to take risks to get Russia out of Donbas," but would not cross any of Ukraine's red lines. “In Russia it’s simple, if you want to solve something you have to talk to Putin," he said.
  • Kuleba, speaking at the German Marshall Fund think tank, thanked the U.S. for its "consistent" support of Ukraine up to now, but said "enough is never enough" and more is needed.

Between the lines: Zelensky lamented recently that Trump's repeated descriptions of Ukraine as corrupt are undercutting his efforts to project a new image of his country and gain support and investment.

Zoom in: Kuleba's agenda in Washington includes meetings on Capitol Hill and with members of the National Security Council and State Department.

  • He said none of the administration officials he met with asked about Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden or impeachment. "As you can imagine, nor did I mention it," he added.
  • Kuleba joked that since the officials he'd met had been quite positive toward Ukraine, "maybe I was meeting with the wrong people."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

1 hour ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."