Updated 9:23 PM EDT, Thu September 14, 2023
US President Joe Biden plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky next week around the United Nations General Assembly meetings, according to multiple officials familiar with the plans.
It remained unclear whether the meeting would occur in New York or later in the week at the White House. One source familiar with the matter told CNN that Zelensky is expected to travel to Washington, DC, after his stop in New York.
Biden and Zelensky are both scheduled to address the assembly on Tuesday.
Zelensky is planning to use an in-person appearance at the annual meeting to appeal for more support for Ukraine as it continues to wage a counteroffensive against Russia. Aside from an address to the assembly, he plans several meetings with other world leaders in New York, according to people familiar with the plans.
Among his objectives will be trying to persuade nations that haven’t taken a firm stance against the war to be more forceful in their condemnation of Russia.
Among his meetings will be with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli government announced Thursday.
Zelensky will also visit the US Capitol next Thursday, according to a GOP source familiar, though he will not address a joint session of Congress and is instead expected to meet individually with lawmakers and members of leadership.
The anticipated visit, first reported by Punchbowl News, comes as Congress is weighing a White House request for additional aid to Ukraine. Its passage remains in doubt, with the GOP fiercely divided over the issue.
Zelensky addressed a joint session last year but opposition to Ukraine funding has grown particularly inside the House GOP.
Biden last met Zelensky in-person on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Lithuania in July. Before that, the men sat for talks in May at the G7 summit in Japan. Despite support from the United States for an appearance at last week’s G20 summit in India, Zelensky wasn’t extended an invitation by the hosts.
He last traveled to the United States in December, his first time leaving Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began.
A spokesman for the US National Security Council declined to comment.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Zelensky in Kyiv last week as part of a trip aimed in part at aligning the US and Ukraine ahead of the diplomatic gathering. The top US diplomat told the Ukrainian president that the US is “determined to continue to walk side-by-side” with Ukraine.