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Zelensky reiterates objection to ceding territory to Russia

by Rachel Amran December 13, 2023 3:00 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a press conference in Washington on Dec. 12, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

During a press conference with President Joe Biden in Washington, President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the question of whether Ukraine would be ready to cede territory for the sake of peace by calling the idea "absolute madness."

"Our people, families, and children live there. And all this is part of Ukrainian society," Zelensky said. "We are talking about living people, they are being bullied, they were raped, they were killed, and we know this very well."

The Ukrainian head of state arrived in the U.S. on Dec. 11, seeking to reinvigorate support for Ukraine. A $61-billion funding request for Ukraine has been stalled amid political infighting in Congress and opposition from parts of the Republican Party.

Biden reportedly invited Zelensky to Washington to "underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion."

After a series of closed-door meetings on defense and aid cooperation in the upcoming year, Biden and Zelensky addressed U.S. and Ukrainian reporters in Washington.

The Ukrainian leader emphasized three key elements from the day's meetings with Biden. Firstly, Ukraine's air defense intends to destroy Russian logistics on Ukrainian land.

"We aim to win the air battle, crushing Russian air dominance," Zelensky stated. "Who controls the skies controls the war's duration."

He also revealed that he met with an American defense company and received advice on how to make Ukraine's defense industry work more efficiently.

Finally, President Zelensky said he informed Biden that Ukraine has "fulfilled all the recommendations from the European Commission" ahead of negotiating Ukraine's potential ascension to the EU.

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