Zelenska declined to attend Biden's address, but White House stresses he will appeal to Republicans
Karine Jean-Pierre (Photo: EPA/Ting Shen)

Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska was unable to attend US President Joe Biden's speech before Congress on Thursday, where he is going to address Republicans who are blocking aid to Ukraine, the White House spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, announced at a briefing.

Zelenska did receive an invitation, but was unable to attend.

"I would refer you to Ukraine as to her reasoning why, but she did indeed receive an invitation from us," said Jean-Pierre.

Biden intends to address Republicans in the House of Representatives and urge them to put the continuation of aid to Ukraine to a vote.

"We know that it would get overwhelming support. We can’t let politics get in the way of our national security," the White House spokeswoman said.

On February 14, 2024, US President Biden called on Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson to immediately put to a vote the bill on aid to Ukraine.

A delay in military aid to Ukraine from the United States may lead to the fact that European countries will increase the amount of military support by purchasing American weapons.

On February 26, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Johnson promised him that he would do "everything" to help Ukraine.