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Transcript of Pelosi Remarks at Photo Opportunity with His Excellency Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined His Excellency Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, for a photo opportunity ahead of his address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good evening.  It is a profound privilege, and with great pride, that I welcome President Zelenskyy to the Capitol of the United States.  We have talked about the fact that, recently, a few months ago, we had the privilege of welcoming the first lady to this Temple of Democracy.  She made a great case, for the need for more weapons, more humanitarian, more economic assistance, by talking about the children.  I’ve told the president again and again that the children and the war – using women as a weapon of war is something that the Russians are going to have to answer for.  

But today, at this time, here we are today to welcome the brave, courageous President Zelenskyy, in order to praise not only him, but the courageous, unified people of Ukraine, for what they are doing to protect Democracy.  Over the last ten months since the invasion, you, Mr. President, and the Ukrainian people have met Putin’s brutality with a strong will.  Your visit comes as the Congress prepares to, again, pass another consequential round of security, economic and humanitarian assistance.  Within the next 48 hours, hopefully, this will be done.  

And I want to applaud President Biden’s plans to deliver a Patriot defense system, additional HIMARS and other vital military equipment.  We are very, very pleased at that decision by the President and the determination to get that done.  And I give tribute to you, Mr. President, for making the case so clearly about how this is needed.  

I was telling the president earlier that my father was a Member of Congress when Winston Churchill came here in 1941, the day after Christmas, really within a week in 81 years of today.  And he made the case for calling upon America to help fight tyranny in Europe.  He said at that time, ‘We are doing the noblest work in the world – not only defending hearth and homes, but the cause of freedom in every land.’  That is exactly what the people of Ukraine are doing.  Their own homes, their own hearth, but freedom and Democracy throughout the world.

Eight decades later, it is my official honor – my father was there as a Member of Congress 81 years ago – it’s my official honor now to welcome President Zelenskyy to make an address to a Joint Session.  And I said to the Members, my father being there that day was a source of pride, part of our family legacy.  President Zelenskyy speaking to Congress today, and you being in the Chamber, will be a bright part of your own legacy.  

Thank you, Mr. President, for honoring us with your presence.  The entire Congress – Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate – look forward to hearing your message of unity, courage and determination.  With that, I’m pleased to yield to the distinguished President of Ukraine, the courageous, determined, unified President of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy.

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