Ukrainian President Zelenskyy visits the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is making a high-stakes and high-risk visit to Washington.

The war-torn country’s president met with President Biden at the White House Wednesday before making his way to the Capitol to address a joint meeting of Congress.

The timing of Zelenskyy’s visit is critical as billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine makes its way through congress in a massive spending bill.

It’s the Ukrainian leader’s first foreign trip since Russia began its brutal invasion and comes at a pivotal moment amid warnings of a new Russian offensive with forces already hammering the Ukrainian power grid as winter sets in.

The Biden administration announced close to $2 billion in additional emergency aid including long-sought Patriot air defense missile systems.

President Zelenskyy, who’s inspired the world with his dogged determination, will ask for more support Wednesday night in an address to both chambers of Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “It’s nearly unheard of to hear from a leader who is fighting for his life, fighting for his country’s survival, and fighting to preserve the very idea of democracy.”

It comes as Congress is racing to pass a massive funding bill that includes more than $45 billion in Ukrainian military and economic aid before Republicans take control of the House in less than two weeks with House GOP leaders indicating no more blank checks for Ukraine.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) supports the aid package, calling it morally right and “a direct investment in cold hard American interests.”

Supporters are looking to send a clear signal that America stands with Ukraine in its fight for freedom.

It’s now been more than 300 days since Russia invaded Ukraine with no sign of a diplomatic solution in sight.

Administration officials were clear that President Biden would not be pressuring President Zelenskyy to negotiate before he’s ready.

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