Biden to host Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky at White House

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Biden to host Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky at White House

President Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House later today for their long-awaited — and previously postponed — first in-person meeting.

During the sit-down, Biden is expected to push the Ukrainian leader to tackle corruption — despite claims of Ukraine-based corruption involving his own son Hunter Biden — and show support for the country’s sovereignty in the wake of Russia’s seizure of Crimea.

Biden also plans to reassure Zelensky that the US will help protect Ukraine’s energy security.

Meanwhile, Zelensky, who found himself embroiled in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, is seeking increased military aid and backing for Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership.

The meeting was postponed two days ago as a result of the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Zelensky, who took office in 2019, is just the latest Ukrainian president to promise to tackle corruption.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson (left) met on August 31, 2021 to discuss the International Space Station.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson met on August 31, 2021, to discuss the International Space Station.
BILL INGALLS/NASA/AFP via Getty Images
"The Mac Shop" where Hunter Biden famously left his laptop for repairs before being plunged into a massive scandal.
The Mac Shop, where Hunter Biden famously left his laptop for repairs.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine’s widespread corruption has been a thorny matter for Biden.

As vice president, Biden led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy as Hunter Biden earned a reported $83,000 per month on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma — despite having no industry experience.

In 2019, Joe Biden declared: “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

Zelensky has indicated that he would like Biden to make a statement on whether he will accept Ukraine into NATO.
Volodymyr Zelensky has indicated he would like Biden to make a statement on whether he will accept Ukraine into NATO.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) on August 31, 2021.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) on August 31, 2021.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Documents from a laptop formerly belonging to Hunter Biden, however, suggested he had introduced his father to a Burisma executive during a visit to the US back in 2015.

Emails published by The Post indicated the elder Biden attended a dinner at DC’s Cafe Milano with the Burisma exec and Hunter Biden business associates from Russia and Kazakhstan.

Zelensky found himself ensnared in Trump’s 2019 impeachment after the then-president suggested Ukrainian authorities should investigate the Bidens for alleged corruption. The Senate late acquitted Trump of allegedly abusing his power.

President Joe Biden (right) and his son Hunter Biden (left) have both been accused of using political leverage in dealings with Ukraine.
President Biden (right) and his son Hunter Biden have both been accused of using political leverage in dealings with Ukraine.
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President Zelensky is hoping that Biden will come out in support of his bid to join NATO as well as help him in Ukraine's battle against separatists.
Zelensky is hoping Biden will come out in support of his bid to join NATO as well as help him in Ukraine’s battle against separatists.
ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images

During Wednesday’s White House meeting, Biden wants assurances from Zelensky that he remains committed to tackling systemic corruption and following through on a range of reforms, according to a senior US administration official.

Zelensky is looking for new economic and military assistance in the wake of Russia’s seizure of Crimea and backing of armed separatists in the country’s east.

Prior to the meeting, the Biden administration had already said it was committing up to $60 million in new military aid to Ukraine.

Zelensky was initially supposed to meet with President Biden two days ago however, it was postponed due to the crisis in Afghanistan.
Zelensky was initially supposed to meet with President Biden two days ago, but it was postponed due to the crisis in Afghanistan.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
A building in Kiev, Ukraine which is reported to house a subsidiary of Burisma Holdings Ltd. the company where Hunter Biden sits on the board.
A building in Kiev, Ukraine, which is reported to house a subsidiary of Burisma Holdings Ltd., the company where Hunter Biden sat on the board.
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Zelensky has indicated he wants a clear statement from Biden on whether he supports eventual NATO membership for Ukraine.

The US official, however, refused to say whether Biden would support Ukraine’s NATO aspirations.

In April, Russia sent a fleet of over 20 warships to launch multiple cruise missiles in the Black Sea — days after defying President Biden’s demand that the nation drop its military offensive against neighboring Ukraine.

President Zelensky is also hoping that the US will send his forces military aid as Ukraine battles Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region.
Zelensky is also hoping the US will send his forces military aid as Ukraine battles Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region.
ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin subsequently closed off the Kerch Strait to foreign warships until next fall.

The Kremlin has continued to increase its military presence in the region, specifically with its naval ships in the Black Sea.

This month, the Kremlin and the Chinese Communist Party also held a large-scale joint military exercise in north-central China involving more than 10,000 troops.

With Post wires

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