Pelosi heads to Kyiv to ‘maximize’ US support and prolong Russian-Ukrainian conflict, inflate ‘political legacy’

A photo released by Ukraine’s Presidential Press Service on May 1, 2022 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) welcoming Speaker of the United States Congress House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi during their meeting in Kyiv. Photo: UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AFP

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid an unannounced visit to kyiv on Sunday, the highest US official to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and Chinese analysts have said it indicated the Biden administration was maximizing U.S. support for Ukraine while misleading domestic voters as much as possible that the U.S. will not get involved in the conflict.

But analysts have warned that Pelosi’s visit and massive US aid to Ukraine, which has served to increase its efforts to prolong the conflict in order to weaken Russia, are likely to further escalate the conflict. Russian-Ukrainian, which could even spill over into neighboring countries.

Pelosi and members of a congressional delegation, including Speaker Jim McGovern, Speaker Gregory Meeks and Speaker Adam Schiff, traveled to Kyiv on Sunday, and Pelosi said the delegation traveled to Kyiv to “send an unequivocal and resounding message to the world: America stands firm with Ukraine.”

“Our delegation proudly delivered the message that additional U.S. support is on the way, as we work to turn President Biden’s strong request for funding into a legislative package,” according to a press release from Pelosi’s office after the visit. of the delegation in Kyiv. The statement said it was the first official Congress delegation to visit Ukraine after the conflict.

The delegation met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with Zelensky later writing on Twitter that “the United States is the leader in strong support for Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our State”.

Diao Daming, associate professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday that the delegation which included House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks and Chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the United States House, Adam Schiff, was high profile, which showed that the visit was misleading, because on the one hand, in the face of domestic economic pressure, Biden tried to mislead his voters on the fact that the United States would not get involved in the conflict, and on the other hand, trying to increase efforts to help Ukraine deal with pressure from its allies following the visit to kyiv by the President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

And it’s obvious the US is hoping to fan the flames with a flood of aid by trying to shut down the negotiating room between Russia and Ukraine, Diao said.

Lü Xiang, an international relations expert and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday that the United States hoped Pelosi’s visit could show long-term US support for Ukraine. , indicating that the United States has intensified its efforts to prolong the Russian-Ukrainian conflict to achieve the goal of weakening and putting pressure on Russia.

After the visit, the United States will likely increase its aid to Ukraine, as Pelosi had said she hoped to pass a $33 billion aid package for Ukraine as soon as possible, the amount of aid being described by Reuters as “a dramatic escalation in US aid”. funding for Ukraine.”

Lü said the visit and subsequent aid is likely to escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as the $33 billion in aid included more arms and ammunition, fearing the conflict could spill over into countries like Moldova and Poland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told lawmakers last week that if another country intervened in Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Russia would launch a “lightning-fast” response, according to the Moscow Times.

When media reported that Biden was to announce a new round of military support for Ukraine worth $800 million in late April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the United States and the Western countries he controlled were doing everything to drag Russia down. operation as much as possible with “the intention of provoking the kyiv regime to fight to the last Ukrainian”.

Diao said that for Pelosi herself, she wanted to leave a political legacy through the visit, as it may be her last term as Speaker of the House.

Pelosi postponed a reportedly planned visit to the island of Taiwan last month after she tested positive for COVID-19 and following the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s warning of resolute and forceful action if the visit went ahead.

Diao warned that it was possible for Pelosi to take reckless steps regarding China, and that China should maintain heightened vigilance in its further moves.

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