Lisa Mascaro Associated Press
Washington—“I thought we might die.”
The Russian invasion was just beginning when Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Ukraine. The Speaker of the House, the highest-ranking elected US official at the time, led the congressional delegation to Kiev.
Pelosi and lawmakers were ushered into the capital under a cloak of secrecy. This is an undisclosed passage she never reveals even today.
“It was very dangerous,” Pelosi told The Associated Press before the one-year anniversary of that trip on Sunday.
“We were never afraid of it, but we were visiting a serious, serious war zone and we thought we might die.” But nevertheless, it was a scene of war, of war.”
Pelosi’s visit was as unusual as it was historic, and opened a new diplomatic channel between the United States and Ukraine, which had just been deepened by a prolonged war. A long list of senators, powerful committee chairs, followed her lead, punctuated by President Joe Biden’s own visit this year.
The steady stream of arrivals in Kiev has helped amplify the political and military partnership between the United States and Ukraine for the world to see. This will be put to a new test this year when Congress is again expected to fund a war to defeat Russia.
“We have to win. We have to come to a positive conclusion for the Ukrainian people and our country,” Pelosi said.
“There is now a battle going on in the world between democracy and dictatorship, and at that time there were signs of that in Ukraine.”
A new Republican majority in the House of Representatives has made Trump-friendly members hesitant to invest abroad, but Democrat Pelosi has said that even in the face of authoritarian attacks, America’s commitment to democracy abroad remains strong. I am confident that Congress will continue to support Ukraine as part of its broader efforts.
“Ukrainian support is bipartisan and bicameral, with both houses of Congress, and the American people support Ukrainian democracy,” Pelosi told the Associated Press. “I believe we will continue to support democracy for as long as we need to support it…as long as it takes to win.”
Pelosi, who now serves as chairman emeritus, an honorary title bestowed by the Democratic Party, is cautious about her role as a special U.S. envoy abroad. During her tenure she has visited 87 countries, many of them as a pioneering woman Speaker of the House. She has set new standards for pointing her gavel outward while keeping her attention on the world beyond the shores of the United States.
In her office tucked away in the Capitol, Pelosi, during her final visit as a speaker, recalls the many honors and commemorations she has received from abroad, including an honorary passport she was given for her trip to Ukraine. I shared the item.
It’s a signature political style based on Pelosi’s decades-long work on the House Intelligence Committee, though I’m not sure a new generation of House leaders would choose to emulate it.
New Chairman Kevin McCarthy welcomed Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library earlier this month.
Democrat Hakeem Jeffries made his first overseas trip as a House minority leader, leading congressional delegations to Ghana and Israel last week.
Pelosi said it was up to the new leader what she would do on the world stage.
“Other speakers understand our national security. We pledge to protect and defend. no,” she said.
“I just want to say that this made the most sense to me,” Pelosi said.
When Pelosi arrived in Kiev, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stood outside to meet US officials. The photo showed the world support for young democracies fighting the aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The courage of the president in greeting us on the street, rather than simply meeting him in his office, was another symbol of the courage of the Ukrainian people,” she said.
“Your fight is for everyone,” Pelosi told Zelensky in a video released at the time.
A year later, with no end in sight, Pelosi said, “I wish the war had ended by now.”
Pelosi’s travels abroad have not been without political challenges and controversies. He reassured allies that the United States would remain a partner regardless.
Last year, on one of her last visits as a public speaker, Pelosi arrived in Taipei with a delegation. Crowds in the streets cheered her arrival. Own.
“It’s cowardly,” she said of the military drills China started in the aftermath of her visit.
Pelosi rarely praised McCarthy’s own meeting with Tsai, especially for its bipartisan nature and choice of venue at the historic Reagan Library.
“It’s really quite the message and it was very visual to be there. So I admire what he did,” she said.
In one of her closing acts as House Speaker in December, Pelosi hosted Zelensky for a joint address to Congress. The visit was reminiscent of what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill did on his Christmas 1941 address to Parliament on the Senate floor about the “long and hard war” at the start of World War II.
President Zelensky presented to parliament the Ukrainian flag signed by the front-line forces.
The world has changed a lot since Pelosi joined Congress. One of her first trips abroad was in 1991, when she boldly unfurled a pro-democracy banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in the aftermath of a student demonstration that ended in a massacre.
After the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what remains on her mind is once again Russia and China.
“Putin’s role on Russia is a bigger threat than when I came to Congress,” she said. Ten years after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, she said, Putin had risen.
“This is where the fight for democracy is being fought,” she said.
And despite the work she and others in Congress have been doing to point out concerns about China’s military and economic rise and its human rights record, she said.
Often mentioned as a potential actual ambassador — there has been speculation that Biden could nominate her for Rome or beyond — Pelosi said she will focus on a two-year term. I said yes. Francisco.
“My plan right now is to serve the voters,” Pelosi said. “He likes 750,000 bosses more than one.”
https://www.dailynews.com/2023/04/29/ap-interview-pelosi-says-ukraine-democracy-must-win/ Pelosi says Ukraine, democracy ‘must win’