Rzeszów, Poland – Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press conference with Chairman Jim McGovern, Chairman Gregory Meeks, Chairman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Bill Keating and Congressman Jason Crow as part of the U.S. Congressional delegation to Ukraine and Poland.
Below is the full transcript:
Speaker Pelosi. Good morning, again. Thank you all for joining us this morning. I’m very honored to be with a very distinguished Congressional delegation that has traveled here to send a clear message to the world: America stands with Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine until victory is won. And we stand with our NATO allies in supporting Ukraine.
I’m honored to be joined by Chairman of the Rules Committee, Mr. McGovern, who is – where is he? Mr. McGovern, who is a champion in the Congress on food security, a very important issue in our discussion. Mr. Chair Gregory Meeks, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Chair Adam Schiff, Chair of the Intelligence Committee; Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee which deals with the appropriations as well as loan guarantees, et cetera; Congressman Bill Keating is Chair of Europe, Eurasia and Environment on the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as a member of the Armed Services Committee; and Congressman Jason Crow, a member of Intelligence and Armed Services, and a veteran who has brought that experience to the discussion that is so valuable.
Our delegation had the solemn opportunity and great honor to meet with the President of Ukraine yesterday. Our discussion centered around the subjects at hand, as you would suspect: security, humanitarian assistance, economic assistance and eventually rebuilding when victory is won. We were proud to convey to him a message of unity from the Congress of the United States, a message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership and admiration to the people of Ukraine for their courage. As we continue with our engagements in Poland, we will be thanking the Polish government for their hospitality — more than that, to – refugees and to learn from them what more needs to be done. What more needs to be done was the topic of our conversation with President Zelenskyy, and our colleagues will address those.
It is with great sorrow that we come here. With great pride, we leave with a firmer understanding and more current understanding of what needs to be done — with a deeper appreciation and inspiration from those who are in this fight. And again, the resolve to move quickly to pass into legis – we are already writing into legislation the initiatives that President Biden put forth. We’re very proud of our President. His experience as a Member – as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as Senator many years and a Vice President of the United States. And now President, he knows the challenges in the fight against democracy versus oppression, democracy versus autocracy. And he has unified – he has been a force for unity in NATO, as well as in the United States. And with that, I’m very pleased to yield to Mr. McGovern.
Chairman McGovern. Well, thank you very much. I’m really honored to be here in Poland. I am half Polish on my mother’s side and was happy to be in Ukraine yesterday. My wife’s family is half Ukrainian on her mother’s side, so this is a special visit.
And I just want to begin by saying that, that President Zelenskyy is an inspiration and so are the people of Ukraine, and all of us stand with them. I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for leading, I think, the first official CODEL into Kyiv. And I’m grateful for her long-term commitment to human rights and to democracy and freedom.
Look, Putin’s brutal war is no longer only a war against the people of Ukraine. It is also a war against the world’s most vulnerable. And Ukraine, as we all know, is basically the breadbasket of the world that provides wheat, maize, sunflower oil and so many other things to countries all around the world, especially in Africa and in the Middle East. It provides important food to relief organizations, the United Nations World Food Programme, and, and all of these organizations are dedicated to trying to prevent an increase in hunger. And yet this war, Putin’s war, is exacerbating hunger all around the world. His deliberate targeting of food supplies has resulted in great pain inside Ukraine and around the world. Food prices have risen, energy prices have risen. And that in turn means that hunger is on the rise. What kind of person does that?
In Ukraine, we talked with President Zelenskyy about the importance of providing assistance directly to Ukraine, so that he has the ability and the flexibility to provide what is necessary to the – to people in need, whether they are internally displaced, whether they are in the most conflicted areas, whether some families are in Ukraine and some are in Poland, whatever the situation — making sure they have the flexibility is important. And I think that’s a message that we all agree with.
We also will continue to fund our international relief organizations like the UN World Food Programme, and others. And we must find a way to help the Ukrainians establish a humanitarian corridor that will allow them to ship food by sea, to help the poorest people in the world, so they don’t go hungry. You know, our dear friend, Chef José Andrés, who was one of the leaders of World Central Kitchen, remarks all the time that food is love. And it’s not a weapon of war. It is a fundamental human right for every single person on this planet. And I don’t think Putin cares if he starves Ukraine or the world. He obviously has no regard for human suffering. But the rest of us should.
And let me just finish with this: there is good and evil in the world. And we have seen the goodness in the Ukrainian people. We saw the goodness in President Zelenskyy and in so many others — and here in Poland, helping the refugees and, and helping provide a peace of mind to people who are fleeing violence. We’ve seen the goodness in our own country, with young schoolchildren raising money to help, you know, make sure people are fed, you know, who are fleeing the violence.
But we’ve also seen the evil. Putin’s war is evil. The war crimes, targeting maternity hospitals, the massacre of people. That is evil. And at the end of the day, we all believe that goodness will triumph over evil. So I was honored to be on this trip. And again, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her courage in leading it.
Well, let me turn it over to Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks.
Chairman Meeks. I also want to start off by just thanking the Speaker for leading this delegation. This is my second trip to Poland within a month. And it’s just an indication of the dedication, the focus that we in the United States Congress — the unity that we bring, that we’re going to stand by President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people.
This is a time where history is recording what we do and what we don’t do. This is a time when we stand up for democracy or we allow autocratic – autocracy to reign the day. And meeting with President Zelenskyy — he gave us a message of thanks to the people of the United States of America, to President Joe Biden, to both parties, saying thank you for the unity. And that’s the message that he talked and we talked about: the unity between the United States, our NATO allies, our EU allies and our allies all across the world — that that was significant and important. And we also join those or ask those who have not yet come together to join us to make sure that we understand that unity means strong sanctions. Unity means sanctions that will even show the world that we stand by right as opposed to evil. That is not going to be easy. But if we stand in that unified manner, as we have been, good will overcome evil.
And we talked about how on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was pleased that we passed a number of bills recently, particularly seizure and assistance. And of course, Lend and Lease. He called those out immediately upon our arrival. And we’ve also indicated that the House Foreign Affairs Committee – we’ve dedicated several bills, passed several, moving forward to try to get them in front of the President to sign. And we will continue to focus on efforts to demonstrate and to illustrate our unity with the people of Ukraine, our unity within the United States Congress and our unity with our allies.
I’d now like to bring forward the Chair of the Intelligence Committee, Chairman Adam Schiff.
Chairman Schiff. Thank you, Chairman Meeks. And thank you, Madam Speaker, for organizing this CODEL to Kyiv. Like Mr. McGovern, I’m very honored to be here as I have Polish roots as well. My mother’s maiden name was Glovsky and her grandparents are from Bialystok. So it’s an honor to be with you.
I – last night, we had a three hour meeting with President Zelenskyy and his leadership team. We discussed sanctions and how we could strengthen them. We discussed weapons and how we could increase the supply so Ukraine could defend itself against Russian aggression. We discussed economic assistance and food assistance and humanitarian assistance, and what more we could do and the rest of the world could do to support Ukraine.
This is a struggle of freedom against tyranny. And in that struggle, Ukraine is on the front lines. The whole freedom-loving world has an interest in the outcome of this war, and ensuring that Ukraine is victorious. And we are determined to do everything in our power to make it so. On the Intelligence Committee, we are particularly proud of the role that good intelligence has played in supporting our Ukrainian allies. Good intelligence prior to the war in disclosing Putin’s plans and ambitions, in stripping away the pretext and demonstrating the naked aggression of this war by Russia. That intelligence cooperation goes on. We are determined to make sure that we provide good, timely information to Ukraine to allow it to defend itself.
We are in awe of what Ukraine has been able to achieve and the courage of the Ukrainian people. And we expressed our gratitude to President Zelenskyy for his personal courage and that of all of his countrymen. It is really extraordinary. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine. And we will until victory is won. Thank you.
And now it’s my great pleasure to introduce Representative Jason Crow of Colorado, a Member of the Armed Services Committee and a Member of the Intelligence Committee.
Congressman Crow. Thank you, Chairman Schiff. Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for bringing this group together and leading this Congressional delegation to Ukraine and to Poland. It’s a pleasure to be back in Poland. I was here just a couple of weeks ago as well, checking on my beloved 82nd Airborne Division, where I started my public service career not too many years ago. But the people of Poland have been incredible friends and neighbors, not just to Ukraine but to the United States. And it is an alliance and a friendship that is stronger than ever before.
Also, thank you to President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainians for hosting us and inviting us and having a wonderful discussion and exchange of ideas yesterday, as well. I came here as a Member of the Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee and as a combat veteran myself with three areas of focus: weapons, weapons and weapons.
We have to make sure the Ukrainians have what they need to win. What we have seen in the last two months is their ferocity, their intense pride, their ability to fight and their ability to win, if they have the support to do so. As we had an exchange of ideas with President Zelenskyy and his senior leadership team about how we can best do that — how do we continue to get the ammunition to them to fuel the weapons they already have? How do we change the nature of our support to give them new and more advanced weaponry to meet the next phase of this battle? And how do we train the Ukrainian military and soldiers to use those new systems while they are also simultaneously fighting? We came up with a great exchange of ideas, and I look forward to returning to Washington to work with my colleagues to put those into action.
But one thing is really clear that this delegation wanted to send – but also President Biden has made very clear with his most recent aid package request. It is a historic request that we’re going to push hard in the United States Congress to help pass and it sends a very simple message. We are not interested in stalemates, we are not interested in going back to the status quo. The United States of America is in this to win it. And we will stand with Ukraine until victory is won. Thank you.
And now my pleasure to introduce my friend, Barbara Lee from California.
Congresswoman Lee. Thank you very much, good morning. Let me first thank our Speaker for her tremendous leadership and for her courage and for bringing this delegation together on behalf of the American people.
As you all have heard, we stand with the Ukrainian people until freedom is won, until this war is won. And in fact, as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, we want to make sure that we send a signal to the Ukrainian people, that our U.S. tax dollars are going to ensure that democracy prevails and that Ukraine prevails, the people of Ukraine. And in that context, we now — as you’ve heard — are looking at moving forward with regard to the $33 billion request which the President has put forward to support our military and security assistance for the Ukrainian people, for humanitarian assistance, for the United Nations agencies, for our Treasury Department, all of those agencies within our federal government that are moving forward to support the Ukrainian people in this very devastating bloodbath of Putin.
This is a moment in history – it’s a defining moment, quite frankly, whether or not the world goes forward with our democratic principles or moves backwards, which is what Putin is attempting to do. But that’s not going to happen. We’re going to do everything we can do within our power. And fortunately, serving as the Chair of the Subcommittee, we have an opportunity to really drill down now with our partners in Ukraine and in Poland, to make sure that the resources are targeted, to make – to ensuring that the light does outshine the darkness. And so I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, once again. I want to thank all of our Members, and thank the Ukrainian people for showing us the strength and the resilience and what it means to fight, to fight, to fight. To make sure that freedom and that justice and democracy prevails. And we are going to stay there until, as everyone has said and we have witnessed, that freedom is won.
Thank you again, Madam Speaker. Next, let me bring forward now Mr. Keating from Massachusetts, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Speaker Pelosi. And Armed Services.
Congressman Keating. I just want to thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership in, once again, making sure the world knows — as well as Ukraine knows and Poland knows — where the United States stand. And importantly, where they’ll continue to stand.
Yesterday, on this side of the border, Congresswoman Lee and myself met with leaders with incredible courage. These were leaders that did not have military uniforms on. They were humanitarian leaders, international leaders and leaders from Ukraine, who every single day are risking their lives to help other people. They detailed to us the horrors of the hidden, in the silent casualties that are actually numbering in the several millions right now, in the greatest migration since World War II.
Their stories were appalling, about the brutality that they were facing, the Ukrainian people were facing. They told us about the war crimes and how important it is that they have the ability and we have the ability in the U.S. to document these war crimes. They told us about 15 years – girls 15 to 24 years now systematically being raped by Russian soldiers. They told us about how a critical area that doesn’t get much attention is now becoming a crisis, and that’s human trafficking, particularly of women. And then how they’re working to try and prevent – warn women of this and how that is being exploited by other people as well.
And as we’re here in Poland, I want to tell you: it’s not only the U.S. that’s here standing strong, but the example and the work of the Polish government and the Polish people in this regard. Three million people have come over just in several weeks. The doors, the households are open to them. Over 180,000 students are now in school here already. These are students, students that are traumatized. And as we sat with these people that – groups like Ukraine 5 AM, other groups that are, again, risking their own lives every day. They impressed upon us with enormous acumen, their knowledge of the military side, and saying their work will be meaningless, unless we give them the support they need militarily. And they told us how important it was that we pass the $33 billion plan that was forwarded by President Biden. And we know that everyone standing here, and Congress that on both sides of the aisle are ready to do just that.
So I want to salute Polish contribution, very human contribution. I want to salute those brave people that we never see, that never don a uniform. They’ve risked their lives every day for their work. This is an unprecedented moment. And it’s a moment where we’re showing great strength and humanity and values. And the values of the West will win this. And I just want to thank our delegation, Speaker, for once again, as we have since it started February 24th, making sure the world doesn’t question for a second the solidarity of the transatlantic bond that’s there, that extends even beyond NATO. And that will continue into the future. So thank you all. Thank you all.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, my colleagues. We’ll pleased to take a few questions. First, we’re going to begin – now, you want me to make this pronunciation correct? Let me try. Gazeta Wyborcza?
Q. Mrs. Pelosi, what caught your attention the most during this visit in Kyiv?
Speaker Pelosi. What –
Q. What’s come to your attention the most?
Speaker Pelosi. What’s come to my attention the most. Well, one thing we did know is that the courage of the Ukrainian people was something so remarkable. I would say that our conversation with President Zelenskyy was no surprise. But not only his courage and his leadership, but his detailed knowledge of every subject we brought up — into how the best way was to get food as, as a security measure, as an economic measure for the country, as a strategic measure as well, was really — his knowledge. And his knowledge of detail was dazzling as was when it came to weapons. I think you would agree. He was conversing back and forth. And Mr. Crow, Jason Crow, a veteran himself, a Member of Intelligence and Armed Services, had very specific questions. And we made great progress because of that.
When it came to the sanctions, which is Mr. Meeks’ Committee largely, he had very positive suggestions to make and understood the refinement here and there. Now, I don’t want to say that we were surprised that he understood that — well, it was dazzling. Go from one subject to the next. And including intelligence, which was a very important part of our discussion, and how, and how we go forward. So it was a remarkable master class of leadership on the part of President Zelenskyy. And that’s the most recent. I really look forward to continuing our conversations in Poland, and gratitude to the Polish people and the Polish government for their more than hospitality to the Ukrainian people coming into Poland.
Okay, here we go. I got to take this thing off. Okay, Myra –
Q. So I have a lot of questions. So –
Speaker Pelosi. We don’t have a lot of time.
Speaker Pelosi. I mean we have a lot of other questions.
Q. Do you have any timeline on the $300 billion? How fast can be passed in Congress? Second –
Speaker Pelosi. $33 billion.
Q. How do you feel about European cooperation with the European Union, specifically on sanctions? Do you think that European Union is supposed to actually put the ban on on oil and gas and what the United States is prepared to do and how Europeans to help to act? And third –
Speaker Pelosi. Is that okay with the rest of you? Because we’re just going to have a certain number of questions.
Q. Specifically of Russia using chemical and nuclear weapons. What do you think that will happen? What United States? And what NATO supposed to about it?
Speaker Pelosi. With all respect – which is your preferred question?
Q. I’m not sure. They are all –
Speaker Pelosi. Well, let me just start with the first one. It isn’t $300 billion — it’s $33 billion, which is an enormous amount of money. We are very proud of the $13.6 billion that we have sent, and we’re just down to the last drop of that. So under the leadership of the Appropriations Committee, in which Congresswoman Lee is a leader, we are already writing the bill for the $33 billion for weapons, for security, for humanitarian assistance and for economic assistance.
We are very proud that that is on top of what we have already done in terms of sanctions, with stopping this purchase of Russian oil, stopping the normal trade relations with Russia. As Mr. Meeks mentioned, Lend-Lease, which we passed this week, which the President will sign shortly, and the what I call ‘seize and freeze’ — seize and freeze his assets so that when they thaw, they will be used to rebuild Ukraine after victory.
With that, we’ll go to Josh Einiger. That’s so easy. I don’t know what to do.
Q. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
Speaker Pelosi. And my colleagues, any of you want to chime in on any of these questions? Please do.
Q. I have a two-part question. But they’re somewhat related to what we just heard. So the first has to do with the aid package: specifically, the sausage-making piece of this. There seems to be bipartisan agreement that’s needed. But it’s already getting kind of wrapped up in various debate over the COVID relief and over immigration. And I guess, how do you make sure that it doesn’t get bogged down in this typical inertia and particularly survive a filibuster in the Senate over any of those issues?
The other question has to do with rhetoric, and we’re now sending far more in the way of weapons. The Secretary Austin’s comments the other day about degrading the Russian military – and what, where is the line? I guess we don’t know. But how far is the U.S. prepared to or can go to prevent provoking something far worse?
Speaker Pelosi. When you say provoking something far worse, you mean –
Q. A response from Russia.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I don’t — let me, let me just speak for myself on the second part. Do not be bullied by bullies. If they’re making threats, you cannot back down. That’s my view of it: that you were there for the fight. And you cannot – you cannot fold to a bully.
This is called legislating. That you have other proposals that may want to get on the engine that they know is leaving the station. And we do have to pass our COVID legislation. And we will do all of it. Whether we do it together, which is my preference, we’ll see. But it will not bog down the process. Barbara, did you want to speak to that as an appropriator?
Congresswoman Lee. Well, we’re in the process, as the Speaker said, of actually writing the bill right now. And the negotiations will take place as – well, are taking place as we speak. But I think what’s important is to recognize that the President has put forward that $33 billion, and so much of that is desperately needed. Now, we intend to — out of that — look at a little over $1.5 billion a month to help with the shortfalls that the Ukrainian government is faced with. And so there are many components of this bill that require us to move very quickly on. And as the Speaker said, we’re negotiating. And that’s how democracy works in America. And so we don’t know what the outcome, but we certainly know that we’re going to stand with the Ukrainian people and move forward on the security package.
Speaker Pelosi. And soon.
Congresswoman Lee. And soon.
Speaker Pelosi. Any other comments on bullies?
Chairman Schiff. On that subject of bullies, and your question about potential escalation, let’s not forget here: Russia invaded Ukraine. Ukraine is defending itself. And Russia seems to be saying if the United States, if the rest of the world dares defend Ukraine against its aggression, that it will escalate. We’re going to defend Ukraine. And there is a great deal, obviously, at stake for the Ukrainian people more than any other people. But there’s a great deal at stake for everyone.
If Putin can succeed in invading his neighbors and get away with it, what is to lead us to believe that it will stop with Ukraine? He has obviously demonstrated designs with Georgia, with Moldova, perhaps with the Baltics and elsewhere. Here in Poland, obviously, there are the most paramount concerns. And so this is first and foremost about Ukraine, but it is not only about Ukraine. It is about a dictator in the Kremlin making war like it is World War II all over again with a massive invasion of his neighbor, and he must be stopped. And we’re prepared to provide Ukraine with all the support necessary to stop him and to win this war.
Chairman McGovern. You asked the question about whether or not what we’re saying here is provocative. The reality is, Putin has provoked all the things that we are talking about here today. As Adam Schiff pointed out, he’s the one who illegally, in an unprovoked way, invaded Ukraine. And I think the better question is whether the world will hold him to account. Because he has crossed many lines. He has committed war crimes: he has targeted maternity hospitals, he has engaged in mass killings which we have now documented. And the United States and other countries around the world need to be supportive of preserving that evidence.
The question that should also be asked is whether the world will hold him to account for his war crimes. Because if we don’t, the likelihood of him or somebody else doing the same thing increases. And so, so where – we want this war to end. We want the killing to stop. And, and again, the implications of this war are not just about what’s happening to the people of Ukraine. As I pointed out, it’s what’s happening to the people of the world. I mean, he is exacerbating a hunger crisis on this planet. We all should be deeply concerned about that. And so, you know, we need to hold him accountable once this is over with. You know, I support the International Criminal Court in holding him accountable. We ought to support them. But, but he’s the one who provoked this. This is Putin’s war. And what we are doing is, we are standing up to a bully.
Chairman Meeks. And let me just – and that goes with what the unity piece is. What Putin did not count on was us being unified. And he’s seeing unity now like he’d never dreamt would happen. He thought that he could divide us. He hasn’t been able to do that. He’s utilized his Russian propaganda, all around the world with misinformation. With the guise – with the goal to divide us. It has not happened, and it will not happen.
So when we’re talking about sanctions — and yes, we’re going to increase some. And we’re going to bring it together, not just one nation, but all of us collectively. And we will review – and that’s what we talked about also. What stuff thus far have been successful. And what we need to do to put more pressure on him. So nothing is going to decrease. Everything is going to increase. Pressure from the outside, pressure from the inside. There is nowhere for him to go. We’re going to continue ‘til he – Putin surrenders.
Speaker Pelosi. Perhaps you – since you have spoken about this with the President and others, address the question about the unity of the NATO countries and what happens if Putin tries to do something unconventional in terms of weapons.
Chairman Meeks. Well I think, Madam Speaker, you said it all. If he does anything, in regards to unconventional weapons — dealing with anything like chemical weapons or any kind of strategical nukes, all bets are off. The Speaker just said it. We’re not going to back down to a bully. He’s not going to be able to – you know, sometimes bullies keep talking, but if they cross, he’s going to know he’s going to have to face the consequences. He needs to know that. So there’s no backsliding or backing up. That’s not going to divide us. It will only bring us closer together to make sure that we repudiate him and stop his aggression.
Congressman Keating. If I could just mention our allies: the European Union is in the process of what I termed the ‘mother of all sanctions.’ They are in the process of locking Russian imports of gas and oil. The most crippling thing that Russia could ever see, and they’re doing it in a methodical way so that the price doesn’t spike and Putin doesn’t profit in the interim. So that shouldn’t be criticized; that’s just common sense. That’s great sacrifice by our allies, among so many other things. It affects their lives, what they’re doing every day. We’re doing the same in the U.S. And so we’re as strong as we could ever be, I think at any time, historically — when we have two countries that never joined World War II, engaging on the effort themselves in Switzerland and Sweden. And we have two nations that might choose on their own accord to join NATO very shortly.
Speaker Pelosi. See our next question is Marcin Kwasny? Marcin Kwasny.
Q. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Currently, there are almost 5,000 U.S. soldiers near this place – in Europe. Can you imagine any new NATO military bases should – be could be established in eastern Poland, maybe in Baltic states?
Congressman Crow. Yeah, so before the invasion, there was about 80,000 U.S. military personnel stationed throughout Europe on a permanent and a rotational basis. We have plussed that up to about 105,000. We have surged in an additional 25,000 forces. And what we’ve seen from NATO is, we’ve gone from four battle groups to now eight battle groups, so a very firm commitment by NATO to increase the presence. What we’re going to have to do back in Washington is figure out, what does that enduring presence look like? Both in terms of the overall troop number, but also the distribution of those forces. And what is likely to look like is a breaking up of the larger force concentrations, in smaller unit concentrations along the eastern flank.
So pushing forces further east, and having both permanent and semi-permanent rotational forces in places like Poland and the Baltic states and other places as well. So certainly a lot of discussion happening in Washington right now as to how we distribute those forces, or what is a longer term presence look like to meet Russian aggression? And what our allies would like as well.
Q. Final question?
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, okay, then that would be Nastya.
Q. My question is, how fast the Lend-Lease will work? What it will mean to Ukraine? Maybe you can tell what kind of weapon it will be.
Speaker Pelosi. I’m sorry, what was the first part of it?
Q. How fast the Lend-Lease –
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, Lend-Lease. Well, the President will – we passed the bill. And then I’ll sign it when I go back Monday. It has to be processed and the rest. And then the President will sign it. But we’re in the process of something stronger than Lend-Lease right now. We are not lending or leasing; we are giving support in a very strong way. And the Lend-Lease will not just be for Ukraine, but also for Eastern European countries who are assisting.
So it will be as – as we see where it would be most effective. But we will be ready. We will be ready with it. And then the next part of your question?
Q. Maybe you can tell what kind of –
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, you want to speak to the weapon situation?
Congressman Crow. So the nature of this war is evolving, right? What we’ve seen is it looks it’s looking like a different war now that it’s moving from the north to the south and the east. The terrain is different. It’s much more open terrain, as we know. So longer range fires are going to be more important. Standoff – we call standoff within the military is very important. So you’re more likely to see long range rocket fires, long range artillery fires, the use of armored personnel carriers to move troops, tank formations, as opposed to the smaller ambushes and unconventional tactics that we saw in the early stages of this war.
So the next phase of our support is starting to look like that too. You’re starting to see artillery, longer range fires, more advanced drones, counter artillery, radar systems, things that will help the Ukrainians better engage at further distances to preserve their force, but also reach out further and hit the Russian forces both while they’re moving and while they’re trying to dig into defensive positions as well. So that’s a large part of what this new aid package is looking like, is that evolution into a new style of military assistance.
At the same time, as we are looking at — what is the long-term support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces look like? What does a modernization look like? And how do we continue to train like much like we have since 2014, the leadership, the NCO Corps, the officer corps of the Ukrainian military, to help them sustain this over the long run but also meet their long term security needs.
Speaker Pelosi. As I said at the beginning, we have a very distinguished delegation. As you can see, very knowledgeable in the issues that are of concern when it comes to Ukraine and how we can be most helpful from the standpoint of being unified with our NATO allies and others, as well as reflecting the enthusiasm of the American people. I’m very proud of our delegation. I think that the back and forth with the President was indicative of how ready we all are for this discussion on both sides of the table last evening.
I myself want to just say that, as I said, I was very proud of them. And I want to just call to your attention that in response to all of that we brought to the table, the President bestowed upon me, decorated me with the Order of Olga, the Duchess of the Third Degree. I accept this on behalf of the Congressional Democrats. It was a surprise, but I think it was a reflection of his appreciation for what the Congress has brought to the table.
On a personal note, I was last in Poland right before COVID to visit Auschwitz with my colleagues, in a bipartisan way, for the [75th] anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz — and had the chance to meet with the leadership of Poland at that time. And then with President – I met with President Duda in, actually at the anniversary of the of the Battle of the Bulge, the victory at the Battle of the Bulge. So there all kinds of ways that we’ve come in contact with each other.
I, myself, do not have any Polish ancestry, but I do have Polish relatives: Jankowski, my nieces, grand nieces, my in-laws and the rest, and they take great pride in their Polish – in their Polish heritage.
I’ll just close by saying — at the beginning of our meeting yesterday, I said to the President, President Zelenskyy: ‘Mr. President, at the beginning of our revolution, Thomas Paine wrote of the revolutionaries, that time has found us. Time found us to declare independence to fight a war, to win it to write our founding documents. We believe that the time has found the people of Ukraine as well. To preserve their democracy, to defend it and to also in doing so, preserve democracy for the rest of us as well.’
So we saluted him for his leadership, for his courage and for the – just the overwhelming courage of the Ukrainian people. Thank you all very much. Thank you.