Pelosi leads delegation to kyiv and Poland; he swears US support

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A U.S. congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the courage of the Ukrainian people during a visit to Poland on Sunday, a day after a surprise trip to kyiv to meet with President Volodymr Zelenskyy.

US lawmakers assessed Ukraine’s needs for the next phase of the war, and Pelosi promised Washington would support the country until it defeats Russia.

Pelosi, a California Democrat who is second in line to the presidency after the vice president, was the highest-ranking US lawmaker to visit Ukraine since Russia’s war began more than two months ago. Her previously unannounced visit came just days after Moscow bombed the Ukrainian capital while the UN secretary-general was there.

Pelosi and a half-dozen US lawmakers met for three hours Saturday night with Zelenskyy and his top advisers to get a first-hand assessment of the war effort to date. Speaking to reporters in Poland on Sunday, members of the delegation unanimously praised Ukraine’s defenses so far, painted the battle of good versus evil, and assured continued long-term US military, humanitarian and economic support.

“We were proud to convey to him the message of unity from the United States Congress, a message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership and admiration for the people of Ukraine for their courage,” Pelosi said.

His visit came two days after US President Joe Biden asked Congress for $33 billion to boost Ukraine’s fight against Russia, more than double the size of the initial $13.6 billion aid measure. that Congress enacted early last month and is now nearly exhausted. With the war moving into its third month, the move was designed to signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that US weapons and other forms of assistance were not going away.

“This is a time when we stand for democracy or allow autocracy to rule,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York.

“This is a fight of freedom against tyranny,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat. “And in that fight, Ukraine is on the front line.”

Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, a veteran and a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committee, said he came to Ukraine with three areas of focus: “Guns, guns and guns.”

“We have to make sure the Ukrainians have what they need to win. What we have seen in the last two months is their ferocity, their intense pride, their ability to fight and their ability to win if they have the support to do so.”

“The United States of America is in this to win, and we will support Ukraine until victory is achieved,” he added.

The full congressional delegation included Meeks, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who chairs the House Rules Committee; Raven, Barbara Lee of California; and Bill Keating of Massachusetts.

“All of you are welcome,” Zelenskyy told the delegation, according to a video of the meeting released by his office.

Pelosi told Zelenskyy: “We think we visited him to thank him for his fight for freedom.”

“We are on a border of freedom and their fight is a fight for everyone. Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is over,” Pelosi added.

The delegation continued its journey in southeastern Poland, and members later visited the capital, Warsaw, to meet with President Andrzej Duda and other top officials. Poland has received more than 3 million refugees from Ukraine since Russia launched its war on February 24.

“We look forward to thanking our Polish allies for their dedication and humanitarian efforts,” Pelosi said.

Speaking at a news conference in Poland, Pelosi said that she and others in the delegation applauded the courage of the Ukrainian people. She added that the delegation brought Zelenskyy “a message of thanks from the American people for his leadership.”

McGovern said Russia’s war had repercussions far beyond Ukraine, saying it was exacerbating a food crisis that would be disastrous for the world’s poor.

“Putin’s brutal war is no longer just a war against the people of Ukraine,” McGovern said. “It is also a war against the most vulnerable in the world.”

He added that Ukraine is a “breadbasket of the world”.

“I don’t think Putin cares if he starves the world,” McGovern said.


An earlier version of this story was corrected to show that Pelosi is second in line for president, not third.


More AP coverage of the war at

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