By way of Teleconference
(December 20, 2022)
6:38 P.M. EST
MODERATOR: Good evening, everybody. And thank you for becoming a member of tonight’s simply call. This is [moderator]. To kick matters off, I just wished to go over the floor principles seriously speedily. The contents of this phone and all the things we are about to explore is under embargo until finally further more detect.
When we are capable to lift the embargo, I will send every person who RSVP’d an e mail permitting you know that the contents are now reportable. For setting up needs, we are not expecting that to be for at the very least numerous hrs. Thank you yet again for your comprehension, and we enjoy everyone’s flexibility.
As numerous of you may have guessed, tonight’s call is about President Zelenskyy’s visit to the White Dwelling tomorrow.
For your recognition and not for your reporting, our speaker tonight is [senior administration official].
[Senior administration official], I’ll transform it above to you for some opening remarks. And immediately after that, I’ll moderate the Q&A
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Official: Thank you, [moderator]. And thanks, most people.
I’m happy to intrude on your night with what I consider is a quite interesting piece of news, which is that at President Biden’s invitation, President Zelenskyy will be viewing Washington, D.C., tomorrow and will have the option to have interaction right here at the White Dwelling and then go up to Capitol Hill. And in performing so, this visit will underscore the United States’ enduring dedication to Ukraine.
President Biden and President Zelenskyy mentioned the stop by of President Zelenskyy to Washington when they spoke on the mobile phone on December 11th. And the White Dwelling formally invited President Zelenskyy to come tomorrow, Wednesday the 21st, past Wednesday the 14th. And in undertaking so, indicated that we needed to host him for a method right here at the White Property that would contain an prolonged sit-down with President Biden, a assembly with crucial customers of President Biden’s nationwide stability staff and Cupboard, an opportunity to handle the press, and then an option to go up to Capitol Hill to do a joint session of Congress.
The Ukrainian side — President Zelenskyy’s office environment formally accepted the invitation last Friday. And then the check out was ultimately verified on Sunday, just 3 days ago, at which issue the White Property engaged with the Speaker’s place of work to notify them that President Zelenskyy would be touring in this article and that they could function to coordinate alongside one another with the White Household and President Zelenskyy the joint session that will be scheduled for tomorrow evening.
We’ll have additional specifics to share on the agenda quickly. But once again, just a fast overview: President Biden will very first welcome President Zelenskyy at the White Residence for bilateral conferences. There will be the push conference and the possibility to tackle associates of the community. And then there will be an tackle by President Zelenskyy to a joint session of Congress demonstrating the solid bipartisan guidance for Ukraine. And then President Zelenskyy will return, after just a handful of short several hours on the ground, to his individuals in Ukraine.
We’re on the lookout ahead to obtaining President Zelenskyy back at the White Dwelling for his 2nd stop by but his very first stop by given that the commence of Russia’s brutal war in opposition to Ukraine. It’s a little something we have wanted to do for some time. And tomorrow is basically the 300th working day because Russia brutally invaded Ukraine in an all-out assault with the aim of wiping its neighbor off the map and subjecting the Ukrainian persons to Russian dominion.
Russia expected that this war would be brief operate, that they would be in Kyiv and dominating the nation in just a make a difference of times. But right here we are 300 days later, and Ukraine stands, Kyiv stands, the Ukrainian people today stand. And Ukraine, in actuality, has been pushing again in opposition to Russian aggression, reclaiming territory above the program of the previous several months and months.
Of study course, in response to that, Russia has begun a barbaric campaign of attacking Ukraine’s important infrastructure — purposely destroying electrical power, warmth, and electrical energy — in an attempt to split the will of the Ukrainian people and induce human struggling. But Ukraine’s authorities and its persons stay unbreakable, and they’ve impressed the planet with their resilience.
It’s been simply just impressive to look at how Ukraine, aided by U.S. support and the support of our allies and partners, has bravely defended its country, repelled Russian attacks, and retaken a considerable quantity of their territory.
In the assembly tomorrow, President Biden will have the possibility with President Zelenskyy to have an in-depth strategic dialogue on the way forward on the battlefield on the capabilities and training that the U.S. and our allies will proceed to deliver to Ukraine on the sanctions and export controls that we have imposed and will continue to tighten and fortify that have positioned significant expenditures on Russia’s economy and Russia’s protection industrial foundation and on the financial and vitality sector help as well as the humanitarian assistance we’re offering to make lifetime better for the men and women of Ukraine.
More than the program of the previous 300 days, President Biden has rallied the globe to stand up for independence and democracy and to stand with Ukraine as they’ve defended on their own from Russia’s brutal war. We have organized a coalition of a lot more than 50 international locations who are supplying military services guidance to support Ukraine defend its place. We have offered economic support to make positive the Ukrainian government can keep giving basic products and services to the Ukrainian people today. We’ve furnished humanitarian guidance to support support the millions of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their households for the reason that of Putin’s war.
And President Biden will have the opportunity to enhance that this support is not just about what we have accomplished before, but what we will do currently and what we will go on to do for as lengthy as it takes.
And unfortunately, due to the fact Russia has revealed no curiosity in being keen to conclusion this brutal war, just as they had been unwilling to interact in fantastic-faith diplomatic initiatives to avert this conflict in the to start with spot, we know that in the days ahead the conflict will continue on, the wintertime will be difficult, and we will carry on day in, working day out to present essential help to the Ukrainian people.
In reality, tomorrow, President Biden will announce a sizeable new package deal of practically $2 billion of safety guidance for Ukraine. It will consist of a really critical new ability: a Patriot missile battery, which will be a critical asset to defend the Ukrainian folks in opposition to Russia’s barbaric attacks on Ukraine’s important infrastructure. We will coach Ukrainian forces on how to run the Patriot missile battery in a third region. This will take some time, but Ukrainian troops will consider that instruction back again to their nation to work this battery.
And we will continue to prioritize other forms of air protection support as nicely, including NASAMS, HAWKs, Stingers, and counter-UAV machines.
On the course of this pay a visit to, we will also have the option, together with Congress, to mark the get the job done to pass a sizeable package deal of further funding for Ukraine for 2023. And we anticipate a bipartisan deal of more than $40 billion of funding for Ukraine.
President Biden will proceed to rally the planet as we work to retain the remarkable unity we’ve shown more than 2022. And as I said, he will boost the fundamental message on this journey to President Zelenskyy immediately, to the Ukrainian people today, the American individuals, and the earth publicly that the United States will stand with Ukraine for as extensive as it takes and that in undertaking so, that assist will keep on being broad, deep, and bipartisan.
And with that, I’d be content to just take your inquiries.
MODERATOR: Good, thank you so considerably, [senior administration official]. To start with, we’ll go to Aamer Madhani from the Linked Press.
Q Thanks, [senior administration official]. Could you talk a very little bit about why now is an okay time for President Zelenskyy to go away Ukraine and pay a visit to, and if President Biden has any views about browsing there before long?
And then, secondly, how much of this stop by is also about the President sending a message to the upcoming Republican-led Congress about the want for the U.S. to keep the support to Ukraine flowing as this war goes on, most likely further than even the future $45 billion that you hope to send out? Thank you.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Formal: Many thanks. With respect to the initial dilemma, of course there is no mathematical method for the ideal working day for President Zelenskyy to make his 1st vacation out of the nation. And, of class, I would defer to him to talk to his decision-generating about why he felt this would be a good time.
But in his discussion with President Biden, what the two of them agreed upon was that obtaining the option for them to sit down together and for President Zelenskyy to be able to occur to the United States to thank the American individuals for the remarkable help that they’ve received — and to thank equally events, to thank the bipartisan support that he’s acquired –would be an essential injection of momentum and sustenance to American and Allied aid for the months forward and for as long as it takes.
And so, as the year attracts to a close, as we head further into wintertime, as we proceed to give Ukraine the capabilities it requirements on the battlefield, as we continue to surge diplomatic guidance and solidarity to Ukraine, this moment felt like a great possibility for them to be able to have this engagement — this individual facial area-to-facial area engagement — and for President Zelenskyy to have this option to handle the American folks.
President Zelenskyy has indicated he’s incredibly keen — was incredibly keen to make his to start with go to to the United States to be equipped to mail this message.
But all over again, I’ll — I won’t say additional than that and enable him speak for himself.
In conditions of the problem of the timing as it relates to the new Congress, I have claimed prior to and I’ll reiterate below, as several many others right here at the White Property have, that we have been assured all together that irrespective of some rumors and ideas to the contrary, help for Ukraine would continue being wide, deep, and bipartisan. I assume the vote that you will see on this substantial help package demonstrates that, and I imagine the assistance you will see for President Zelenskyy at the joint session tomorrow demonstrates that as properly.
So, this isn’t about sending a message to a certain political party. This is about sending a concept to Putin and sending a message to the globe that The united states will be there for Ukraine for as prolonged as it normally takes.
And President Putin terribly miscalculated the starting of this conflict when he presumed that the Ukrainian people today would yield and that NATO would be disunited. He was improper on each those counts he stays improper about our staying electrical power. And that’s what this go to will exhibit.
MODERATOR: Terrific, thank you. And then, just simply because I have gotten a couple of e-mail of men and women asking about the embargo for the reason that they joined late, I just want to remind everybody that the contents of this simply call are underneath embargo until finally even more notice. When we’re able to elevate the embargo, I will mail to every person who RSVP’d an electronic mail letting you know that the contents are now reportable. And just for your setting up applications, we are not anticipating that to be for at the very least a number of several hours.
With that, we’ll go to our future concern, which is Steve Holland from Reuters.
Q Hey. Thank you. [Senior administration official], will the President truly feel Zelenskyy out on the chance for a diplomatic close to the war?
And next, what — are you expecting the war to stretch properly into the new year? What — what’s your anticipation on that front?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Formal: On the 2nd concern, Russia could, of course, finish the war tomorrow by pulling out of Ukraine. They show no intention of doing so and no intention of severely sitting down down to commit to carrying out so. So, we do not see diplomacy that would guide to an close to the war on just terms as remaining on the incredibly in the vicinity of-expression horizon.
President Biden has been totally clear from the begin, even in advance of the begin of this war, that his principle is “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” that he is not heading to stress or force Zelenskyy to the negotiating table, but relatively, he is heading to do the job with Congress and with our allies to set Ukraine in the very best attainable place on the battlefield so that when the time is ripe, they are in the finest feasible situation at the negotiating desk.
And they will talk about every single ingredient of this conflict, including the scenario on the battlefield and like the issue of where the war goes from right here. And I won’t say a lot more than that nowadays simply because I think it’s quite vital for them to have the possibility to go over it.
But what I will fortify is that the President is not coming with a concept that is about pushing or prodding or poking Zelenskyy in any way. This is likely to be a message of solidarity and guidance, coordination and alignment, and producing absolutely sure that we are extremely a great deal placing Ukraine in the ideal attainable situation to protect its passions and safe its goals.
MODERATOR: Thank you. For our following question, we’ll go to Asma Khalid from NPR.
Q Hi there. Thanks. Can you all listen to me?
MODERATOR: Sure, we can.
Q Hi. [Senior administration official], could you discuss at all to the chance assessment in Zelenskyy flying below at this distinct second and your self-confidence that, presumably, Russia will not take drastic steps when he is out of the country?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Official: Nicely, Russia has been taking drastic motion on a near everyday basis in Ukraine, attempting to plunge the full country into chilly and dim as we head into the dead of winter season — rolling over towns and villages, wantonly killing civilians, bombing hospitals, maternity wards, you identify it. And I imagine we can hope the very same in the times in advance.
So Russia has demonstrated no signals of abating its common and barbaric attacks from Ukrainian metropolitan areas and towns, Ukrainian civilians, Ukrainian critical infrastructure.
We had the chance to seek advice from intently with President Zelenskyy on the safety parameters of him getting equipped to depart the country, arrive to the United States for a temporary time period, and return.
Of course, it in the end was his final decision to make. He concluded that individuals safety parameters were — you know, met what he wanted. We agreed with that, and so we are executing appropriately.
And, you know, Russia will keep on to do what Russia does, and we will go on to do what we do, and that is to not be deterred from our help for Ukraine and for us and Zelenskyy to not be deterred to vacation as he sees match to progress his people’s passions and his country’s pursuits.
And I would position out that, just this early morning, he traveled to the town of Bakhmut in the east, which is really near to the frontlines in the east. He has previously traveled to other locations right out there on the frontlines. And he makes his very own determinations about that journey dependent on what he thinks is greatest heading to provide for his people today.
He designed the exact calculus when it comes to coming to the United States. He feels this is a thing that is likely to aid the battle for Ukraine. And we are identified to assure that it aids the combat in Ukraine by projecting a robust message of unity and solve from the White Property, from Washington, from the totally free entire world, on behalf of all of the nations supporting Ukraine. That’s what we intend to do tomorrow.
MODERATOR: Thank you. For our up coming problem, we’ll go to Peter Alexander with NBC Information.
Q I appreciate you internet hosting this, [senior administration official]. If you could stroll us as a result of a small bit of the timetable of what we should really foresee tomorrow — acknowledging this will come out as aspect of the embargo: when you are hoping this will come about above the program of the day when the joint handle would acquire location any person with whom he’s traveling tomorrow. Is the Very first Woman of Ukraine touring with him or any other key individuals?
And in conditions of his travel here, is the U.S. — is he touring in any type with U.S. transport? Respect any far more specifics as to the distinct timeline relates to tomorrow’s
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Official: Peter, terrific thoughts all. I’m heading to defer the delegation query to the Ukrainians, and they will converse to that when they appear out.
On timing, I will — what I will say is that this is going to be afternoon into evening, is what we anticipate. But I’m not going to say everything further than that.
And then on the relaxation of the inquiries all-around the information of what you’re searching for, we will test to get you that facts tomorrow as soon as he’s right here. But I’m — at this stage, I’m not at liberty to share.
MODERATOR: Thank you. And, Peter, and for all people out there, we will have an e mail — current email late tonight with some up-to-date every day assistance for everybody with timing as perfectly. So you are going to be equipped to go into tomorrow morning recognizing specifically the timing.
For our following problem, we’ll go to Michael Shear from the New York Instances.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Formal: Hey, [senior administration official]. Many thanks. I speculate if you could talk a minimal bit to the information that the President — President Biden — wants to send to the American people with this take a look at. He’s certainly been — he’s certainly been incredibly direct about the point that, from a timing standpoint, there’s no — you know, he’s going to stick with this for “as prolonged as it will take,” I assume is what he said. But he’s also, in the past and undoubtedly at the starting, place boundaries on U.S. participation in the war in Ukraine — no boots on the ground and the like.
Is there any — is there any sense in which this should counsel to the American folks that that — those sorts of limits are modifying and that he could possibly explain to Zelenskyy that the U.S. is keen to be much more deeply associated than he had, type of, advised to the American men and women in the previous?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION Formal: No. The President has been really crystal clear from the beginning. He hasn’t wavered from and he won’t waver from it tomorrow, or following month or following year, that the United States is not sending forces to Ukraine to immediately struggle the Russians. What we are sending as a substitute is billions — now, tens of billions of dollars’ worthy of of military services equipment and provides, subtle weaponry to assist Ukrainians defend by themselves.
And I observed with regard to his announcement on the Patriot battery tomorrow — as to that, we will educate Ukrainians in a third place to operate that battery. As soon as qualified, they will go in with the battery to person it in Ukraine it won’t be U.S. staff who are doing that. And nothing at all will modify in that regard.
The President has been pretty very clear that we are going to lean forward and be strong in our support for Ukraine on the armed forces, financial, energy, and humanitarian fronts, but we are not looking for to interact in a direct war with Russia. And nothing at all about that will change tomorrow.
What tomorrow is about is an opportunity to enhance to the American folks that many thanks mainly to the bravery of the Ukrainian folks, but also thanks to the help that the American men and women have furnished, Kyiv stands, Kharkiv stands, Kherson stands as happy Ukrainian towns that have resisted Russian conquest, and that Ukraine as a country is standing happy and tall and pushing again from Russian aggression. And what we are performing to assist help Ukraine is serving to to protected these victories.
And he is likely to boost that the important now for us to exhibit, not just as a result of text but through methods and by way of the assistance we are actively offering, is that we will stand by Ukraine, stand with Ukraine for — as the question claimed, as I’ve stated, as President has reported — as very long as it takes.
So this is a concept of solve. It’s a information of conviction that we are undertaking the suitable thing below. And it’s a information of help for the President of Ukraine and his persons at this critical hour, at this second as we head further into wintertime, exactly where they ought to have to know that America is standing with them, and they ought to have to know that the world is standing with them.
MODERATOR: Excellent, thank you. And I think [senior administration official] has to run, so I just want to say thank you, everyone, for joining this contact on short observe. And thank you, [senior administration official], for getting the time.
As a reminder of the parameters of this get in touch with, it was held on history, attributable to a “senior administration official.”
All over again, I will e mail all people who RSVP’d with a observe permitting you know when the embargo is lifted and the contents of this connect with will be reportable. For your preparing reasons, once again, I would not be expecting that for at least several hours, but we’ll continue to keep all people posted.
I’m additional than delighted to answer any other logistical issues that anybody has offline.
Yet again, we will be sending out a daily assistance email — the White House push staff will be — late tonight. So everyone will be capable to wake up tomorrow morning understanding precisely what time they need to expect what.
With that, thank you once more for joining the connect with tonight, and I take pleasure in your flexibility and comprehending.
7:02 P.M. EST