After a secret visit to Kiev and a three-hour meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Nancy Pelosi on Sunday pledged broad economic, military and humanitarian support to the Ukrainian government, saying the United States would back its ally until Russia was defeated.
The comments from Mrs. Pelosi — who led a small delegation of Democratic lawmakers to Ukraine’s capital Kiev on Saturday — drew parallels to the American Revolution and reflected the remarkable evolution of US policy toward Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression as the war draws to a close. shows. culminate in a protracted conflict.
“America stands behind Ukraine until victory is won,” Ms Pelosi said at a news conference in Rzeszow, Poland on Sunday, with a phrase echoed by other lawmakers in the delegation.
The Speaker of the House urged the United States not to be deterred by threats from the Kremlin — “Don’t be intimidated by bullies,” Ms Pelosi said — as the Biden administration increasingly puts aside fears raised by some early in the war expressed that too much US aid to Ukraine risked direct conflict with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Her visit came just a week after Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III visited Kiev, after which Mr. Austin said the United States wanted the Russian army to be defeated not only in Ukraine, but also weakened to such an extent that it no longer posed a threat to its neighbors.
On Thursday, President Biden called on Congress to provide $33 billion in additional military and economic aid to Ukraine, significantly escalating aid from the United States.
Ms. Pelosi and the convention leaders who traveled with her expressed their support for the White House proposal and more.
New York Representative Gregory W. Meeks, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the United States would work with allies to refine and extend sanctions to put more pressure on Moscow.
“Nothing will decrease,” he said, “everything will increase.”
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said he was “impressed with what the Ukrainians have been able to achieve” by resisting Russian attempts to take Kiev and Moscow’s better-equipped troops. to deny an easy victory.
Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern said Russia was waging war not only against the people of Ukraine, but also against the world’s most vulnerable. Ukraine is considered the breadbasket of Europe, and the war, he said, “exacerbated hunger around the world”.
“I think Putin doesn’t care if he’s starving Ukraine or the world,” he said. “Putin’s war is bad.”
Ms. Pelosi seemed moved by her wartime meeting with the Ukrainian president, saying that Mr. Zelensky was “dazzling”. She described their three-hour meeting as “a remarkable masterclass in leadership.”
She said she started her meeting with Mr. Zelensky by quoting Thomas Paine, the American revolutionary. “Times have found us,” he wrote in 1776. “We believe that now is the time for Ukraine,” she said. This struggle, she added, will help preserve democracy around the world.