Joe Biden will welcome his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, September 21. The Ukrainian president will join the White House to discuss the question of Washington’s support for kyiv on the issue of the Russian invasion, a senior American official confirmed this Friday, September 15.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the meeting with Mr. Zelensky, the second at the White House since the war began in February 2022, would come at a “critical time” as Ukraine seeks to progress in its counter-offensive against Russian forces. “It comes at a critical time, when Russia is desperate for help from countries like North Korea to wage its brutal war in Ukraine,” Sullivan told reporters.

The Ukrainian president is expected in New York early next week to participate in the United Nations General Assembly. The visit also comes as the US Congress debates a new package of $24 billion in military aid for kyiv. According to several American media, Volodymyr Zelensky should also go to Capitol Hill, where elected officials have been negotiating this new aid for several weeks.

The negotiations are particularly difficult in the House of Representatives, in the hands of the Republicans, where certain conservative elected officials refuse to release more funds. This position gives rise to Republican leaders in the Senate, who mobilized with Democrats over the past year to release more than 110 billion in aid to kyiv in Congress.

Mr. Sullivan said he expected that ultimately both parties in Congress would continue to provide support for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky previously made a surprise visit to Washington in December 2022. After meeting with President Biden at the White House, the leader told Congress that Ukraine would “never surrender.” Joe Biden visited Kiev a few months later – a historic trip, the first by an American president to a territory at war not controlled by the United States.