Zelensky accepts Biden's invitation to visit White House
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accepted an invitation from U.S. President Joe Biden to visit the United States in July this year, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has said.
According to a statement posted on the website of the Ukrainian president, Biden reaffirmed the unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also noted Zelensky's leadership in implementing fundamental reforms in the country aimed at realizing Ukrainian people's Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
"He [Biden] assured that Ukraine's position will be taken into account when discussing strategic issues in NATO, as well as during scheduled top-level events. Volodymyr Zelensky stressed the importance of providing the Ukrainian state with a NATO Membership Action Plan," Yermak said.
The leaders exchanged views on strategic cooperation between Ukraine and the United States on the eve of important summits of the G7 and NATO, as well as Biden's scheduled meetings with EU leaders and the Russian president.
Zelensky briefed Biden on the security situation in Donbas and along the Ukrainian border. He emphasized that there was still a high concentration of Russian troops and heavy weapons in the temporarily occupied territories and near the Ukrainian border.
Biden, in turn, noted the importance of discussing regional security risks with Zelensky on the eve of important events on security negotiation formats.
"Joe Biden supported Volodymyr Zelensky's initiative to create the Crimean Platform. He assured that the United States would be represented at the summit of the initiative at a high political level," the statement reads.
The presidents also exchanged views on Ukraine's progress in implementing key reforms. Zelensky spoke about the planned steps to reduce the influence of oligarchs on the life of the country. He stressed that he was interested in the development of big business in Ukraine, but without oligarchic interference in politics and the economy.
Zelensky also thanked the United States for providing Ukraine with 900,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. "It will save the lives of many Ukrainians. The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to a strategic partnership with Ukraine," Zelensky said.
Zelensky and Biden held a phone call on Monday, June 7, during which the U.S. leader invited his Ukrainian counterpart to visit the White House this summer.