A United States delegation led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials in Kyiv on Friday, May 26, according to the Office of the President of Ukraine.
Andriy Yermak, the head of the president’s office, released this footage of the meeting and said the Ukrainian government was “grateful” to Graham “for the meeting and impact to Ukraine’s defense system.”
Neither Sen Graham’s office nor the US Department of State had issued remarks about the meeting at the time of publication.
According to a statement from the president’s office, Zelensky expressed thanks for the United States’ ongoing support for Ukraine’s military, provided details of the situation of the frontline, and “emphasized the primary importance of continuing and strengthening defense assistance to Ukraine from partners, which should be provided without any restrictions.”
Zelensky asked that international partners provide Ukraine with “long-range weapons and other types of weapons” as well as “modern air defense systems” to protect civilians amid increasing Russian missile strikes and attacks by Iranian “Shaheed” drones on Ukrainian cities, the president’s office said.
According to Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, topics discussed included “continued joint efforts to counter the criminal activities of the Wagner Group in Ukraine and beyond,” and “the possibility of redirecting the $5.4 million confiscated Russian oligarchs’ assets for the purposes of rehabilitation of Ukrainian war veterans.” Kostin said he was “delighted” to meet Graham and lauded the senator’s “firm stance in support of Ukraine” against Russia.
Graham was joined at the meeting by Christopher W Smith, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Kyiv, and Erik Pugner, Deputy Director at the American embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) section, Kostin said. The INL section is “responsible for coordinating and implementing criminal justice and law enforcement reform and technical assistance programs in Ukraine,” according to the US Department of State.
It was Graham’s third visit to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian president’s office said. Credit: President of Ukraine via Storyful
JOE BIDEN: Hi, Senator. Nice to meet you. How are you, sir?
- Good thanks.
JOE BIDEN: We [INAUDIBLE]
- [INAUDIBLE] But now I think it's compared to so many.
JOE BIDEN: I thank you very much for your coming. Thank you very much. Thanks United States people of the United States for all the big support. President Biden, my bipartisan support, Congress, and really, we thank you so much. Yes. It's very important.
- Now we are free.
JOE BIDEN: And we love it.
- And the Russians were done.
- Yes, We are not embarrassed.
JOE BIDEN: Thank you.
- We're on foreign [INAUDIBLE] This is--
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- Yes. [INAUDIBLE]
- And that is [INAUDIBLE] for [INAUDIBLE] years. And how to defend our people against the ballistic weapons. We don't have too much for them to [INAUDIBLE].
- There was a time in America that no one wanted this war.