Ukrainian President Zelenskyy travels to Argentina to gain backing from the Global South.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy observed the inauguration of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei.
This marked the first time the Ukrainian leader visited Latin America in an official capacity, as Kyiv seeks support from developing countries in its ongoing 21-month battle against Russia’s invasion.
Zelenskyy’s trip to Buenos Aires resulted in his office and the White House announcing that he will be journeying to Washington to hold a meeting with President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
Biden has requested that Congress allocate $110 billion for Ukraine and Israel, as well as other important national security initiatives. However, this request is currently being delayed due to discussions surrounding U.S. immigration policy and border security.
According to Zelenskyy’s office, the purpose of the trip to Washington is to ensure that the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world remain united in their support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
In Argentina, Milei greeted Zelenskyy at the presidential residence following his inauguration. The two engaged in a heartfelt embrace, conversed, and then Milei, who has expressed plans to convert to Judaism, gifted his Ukrainian counterpart with a menorah. They were scheduled to have a more extensive one-on-one discussion later that Sunday.
A political outsider who has railed against what he calls entrenched official corruption in Argentina and promised to uproot the political establishment, Milei ran on a pro-Western foreign policy platform, repeatedly expressing distrust of Moscow and Beijing.
After Milei’s recent win in the election, Zelenskyy called him to express gratitude for his unwavering support for Ukraine. According to Milei’s office, he proposed organizing a summit between Ukraine and other Latin American countries, which could greatly benefit Kyiv’s ongoing efforts to improve its connections with nations in the southern hemisphere.
Zelenskyy and other high-ranking officials in Ukraine have consistently portrayed the country’s conflict with Russia as a fight against colonial aggression. This strategy aims to gain backing from countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, who have previously faced challenges in breaking free from foreign control. In some cases, these countries have sought support from Moscow in opposition to Western powers.
Zelenskyy used the trip to Argentina to meet leaders of several developing countries. He met the prime minister of the West African country of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, on his way to Buenos Aires. Once in Argentina, Zelenskyy met separately with the presidents of Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay, his office said.
Zelenskyy emphasized the significance of the backing and unified stance of Latin American nations in supporting Ukraine’s fight for liberty and democracy. He expressed this sentiment in a statement.
According to Zelenskyy’s office, he spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron and they discussed the upcoming defense package that will greatly improve Ukraine’s military capabilities, as well as the current armament needs of the country.