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Ukrainian president invites Joe Biden to Kyiv to stabilize the situation

"I am convinced that your arrival in Kyiv in the coming days, which are crucial for stabilizing the situation, will be a powerful signal and contribute to de-escalation," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to his office.

Published: February 13, 2022 10:29pm

Updated: February 13, 2022 10:57pm

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Kyiv soon to help deescalate tensions in the region, according to an announcement from the Ukrainian leader's office.

Biden spoke with Zelenskyy on the phone Saturday as Russia has massed an estimated 100,000 soldiers on the border. Ukrainian leaders are seeking to meet with Russian authorities within the next 48 hours, but the BBC reports that Ukrainian officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin has ignored requests to meet so far.

Zelenskyy noted that Ukraine feels the support from Biden and other allied nations.

"And we hope that, among other things, it will help prevent the spread of panic," Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine also commended the United States for contributing to strengthening Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

"We are not a member of NATO yet," Zelensky said. "Therefore, only a powerful Ukrainian army is the key to the security of our state."

The Ukrainian president's office concluded: "Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Joseph Biden for his support and invited him to visit Ukraine: 'I am convinced that your arrival in Kyiv in the coming days, which are crucial for stabilizing the situation, will be a powerful signal and contribute to de-escalation.'"

The White House statement on the call with Zelenskyy does not mention the invitation to Kyiv. 

The Biden administration late last week directed U.S. citizens in Ukraine to "leave now" and said that the U.S. military will be unable to evacuate citizens in the event of a Russisan incursion.

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