During a joint interview held at the White House on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told President Joe Biden that he would continue to call on the United States to send more missile defense systems to Ukraine.
Biden announced that he will provide another $1.85-billion package and also provide Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine to help defend the country.
But Zelensky warned about future requests for more systems, stating that, once these Patriots were in place, “After that we will send a signal to Biden that we would like to get more Patriots.”
“We're working on it,” Biden responded quickly.
“We are in war. I’m sorry. I am really sorry,” Zelensky added in English. “That is my appreciation.”
Biden seemed annoyed when a Ukrainian journalist asked at the press conference why the United States was not sending more and heavier weapons to aid Ukraine in winning the war.
“His answer is ‘yes,’” Biden responded, answering the question for Zelensky, who smiled and responded, “I agree.”
Biden reminded Ukrainians that the United States had given Ukraine all the weapons it required to defend itself. He also warned that sending more weapons could “break up NATO and the European Union.”
“Mr. President, you don’t have to worry,” Biden continued, turning to Zelensky. “We are staying with Ukraine as long as Ukraine is there.”
Biden was enthusiastic in his admiration for Zelensky. “This guy in his very soul is who he says he is,” he said. “It’s clear who he is. He’s willing to give his life for his country.”
Zelensky also praised Biden and expressed his gratitude for Biden’s leadership and assistance. “I respect him as a person, as a president, as a human being,” he added.
At the press conference, Zelensky did not mention a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict with Russia.
When a journalist asked what a possible peace deal with Russia might look like, Zelensky responded, “Peace is no compromises as to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of my country.”
Biden agreed. “I think we share the exact same vision—that a free, independent, prosperous and secure Ukraine is the vision,” he stated. “We both want this war to end…and it could end today if Putin had any dignity. But it’s not going to happen, and it’s not going to happen now.”