US President Joe Biden invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington because he believes the war in Ukraine has entered a new phase, John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, told CNN This Morning.
"The President believes that as winter approaches, as we enter a new phase of this war, it is the right time for the two leaders to sit face to face and talk," Kirby said.
The talks are expected to cover US military and economic assistance, as well as support for the Ukrainian people and the maintenance of sanctions against Russia.
The presidents will also discuss how the war might end, Kirby said. “I have no doubt that they will be discussing President Zelensky’s vision of a ‘just world’ and what it might look like and how we can help Ukraine achieve it,” he said.
“Putin is clearly not interested in diplomacy right now,” Kirby said. - Vice versa. He is interested in killing more Ukrainian civilians.”
Kirby added that Zelensky is aware of the risks he is taking by leaving Ukraine, and the US is working to make the trip safe.
Earlier, the White House announced that Zelensky would visit Washington on December 21 and meet with Biden. On December 14, the President of Ukraine received an official invitation.
Biden is also expected to announce a new nearly $2 billion aid package to Ukraine that will include the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, as well as NASAMS and HAWK air defense systems, Stingers MANPADS and anti-drone equipment. At the meeting, a new package of financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of more than $40 billion will be announced.
Zelensky left Ukraine for the first time since the start of a full-scale war unleashed by Russia.