Biden to invite Zelensky to White House this summer

The two leaders had a phone call earlier today.Photo from UNIANPhoto from UNIAN

U.S. President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call Monday that he looks forward to welcoming him to the White House after returning from his summer trip to Europe, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

In an hour-long interview with Axios on Friday, Zelensky urged Biden to meet with him face to face before a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — offering to join him “at any moment and at any spot on the planet,” Axios reports.

The plea from Zelensky came after Biden waived sanctions on the corporate entity and CEO overseeing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will allow Russia to circumvent Ukraine and deliver natural gas directly to Germany.

Ukraine views the pipeline as a dire national security threat, one that Zelensky described as “a real weapon” in Russia’s hands.

The State Department itself has said Nord Stream 2 is a “Russian geopolitical project that threatens European energy security and that of Ukraine,” but Biden has signaled that he does not want to damage relations with Germany over a pipeline that will inevitably be completed anyway.

A U.S. administration source told Axios the White House was considering inviting Zelensky to Washington before Biden’s summit with Putin, but declined to move ahead with the meeting after Zelensky’s decision to replace the management of state energy company Naftogaz.

That move led to concerns in the administration he was backsliding on anti-corruption efforts.

“I have come into this briefing room from the Oval Office where President Biden was on the phone with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Sullivan told reporters Monday.

“This is a call they had been planning to make in advance of President Biden going to Europe and meeting with President Putin,” he continued.

“They had the opportunity to talk at some length about all of the issues in the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and President Biden was able to tell President Zelensky that he will stand up firmly for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its aspirations as we go forward.”

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(C)UNIAN 2021

One comment

  • onlyfactsplease

    President Bush had once said that he looked Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the eye and “was able to get a sense of his soul”.
    Preparing for that first summit, Bush met at the White House with a group of outside experts, some of whom urged him to pay attention to Putin’s already emerging autocratic tendencies.
    This was in 2001.
    What have we learned about the Russia and Vlad in the past 20 years?
    A lot. For one, we certainly know that we have had a row of idiots as presidents when it comes to Vlad and mafia land. The gas station should have been shut down a long time ago already.
    What has Biden learned during this time?
    It seems he was too busy snorting coke. For sure, I think that his fragile mind and lack of judgment make it easy for Vlad to manipulate him, alas, as he was able to manipulate the other unpresidential presidents. And, that’s why I’m afraid that Zelensky and Ukraine will be disappointed during the meeting with the fossil. I hope that I’m wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

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