NewsZelenska and Navalnaya Decline Biden's State of the Union Invitation

Zelenska and Navalnaya Decline Biden's State of the Union Invitation

Olena Zelenska and Yulia Navalnaya
Olena Zelenska and Yulia Navalnaya
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8:52 AM EST, March 6, 2024

Including these two women, who are viewed as symbols of resistance against Russia's dictator Vladimir Putin, in Biden’s speech would have sent a powerful message to Congress. Unfortunately, the president’s plans will not come to fruition, informed the NYT.

Authorities in Kyiv mentioned that Olena Zelenska couldn't attend the event due to scheduling conflicts with other engagements she had committed to. The New York Times speculates there might be another reason.

Julia Navalnaya's late husband, Alexei, was perceived skeptically in Ukraine, especially after his statements following Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014; he did not condemn the Kremlin's illegal action.

Additionally, the NYT reports President Zelensky has been deliberately distancing himself from Biden to avoid straining relations with Republicans. Their support is crucial for approving a significant US aid package for Ukraine, valued at $60 billion.

Yulia Navalnaya attributed her absence to exhaustion and the need for rest following the challenging period after her husband's death, according to the newspaper.
In Biden's upcoming State of the Union Address, attendees will include the parents of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal journalist detained in Russia on espionage charges. Also in attendance will be the first person born in the USA through in vitro fertilization and family members of individuals held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the militant group Hamas, reports the New York Times.
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