Zelensky arrives to red-carpet welcome at White House for talks on US

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been pictured meeting Joe Biden as he arrives in the US for a secretive visit that will see the US pledge another $1.85 billion to the war effort.

It is the first international visit Mr. Zelensky has undertaken since Vladimir Putin invaded his country in February this year.

He was met by Mr. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden as he arrived at The White House – having not met them in person since Russia invaded Ukraine.

In his meeting with the US president, Mr. Zelensky told him he was “a great honor” to be there, thanking Mr. Biden and the “ordinary people” of America for their support.

The Ukrainian president then gave Mr. Biden a medal.

Mr Biden said the Ukrainian people have “inspired the world” with their courage and resilience, adding: “Mr Zelensky, the United States stands with the people of Ukraine, we stand with you, you’ve been a great leader.”

After their meeting, the pair will hold a joint news conference.

The Ukraine president is set to tell House of Congress politicians – some of whom are opposed to taxpayer money being sent to the war-torn country – that Vladimir Putin’s threat remains high.

It is expected that Mr. Zelensky will show his gratitude to the American people for their support during his war with Russia as he appears before the House.

Politicians both in the Ukrainian president’s party and the opposition agree that Ukraine continues to need military support to stave off the invaders.

Zelenskyy said on his Twitter account that the visit, his first known trip outside his country since the war began in February, was “to strengthen resilience and defense capabilities” of Ukraine and to discuss cooperation with the States.

The highly sensitive trip took place after 10 months of a brutal war that has seen tens of thousands of casualties on both sides and devastation for thousands of civilians.

Zelensky’s arrival in Washington, which was carried out under a cloak of secrecy, came as Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, proposed increasing the size of the Russian military to 1.5 million service members.

The original target was 1.15 million.

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