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US, Ukrainian First Ladies Meet in Washington


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden greet Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukrainian's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House in Washington, July 19, 2022.

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska met with U.S. first lady Jill Biden at the White House on Tuesday.

The two last saw each other during Biden's unannounced visit to western Ukraine in May when they visited a school and joined children who were making Mother's Day gifts.

President Joe Biden presented the Ukrainian first lady with a bouquet of flowers — yellow sunflowers, blue hydrangeas and white orchids — the colors of Ukraine's flag.

The White House said Zelenska is visiting Washington "to highlight the human cost of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. They will discuss the United States' continued support for the government of Ukraine and its people as they defend their democracy and cope with the significant human impacts of Russia's war, which will be felt for years to come."

Zelenska met Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Zelenska and Blinken talked about "the immense and growing human costs of Russia's full-scale invasion," and he noted that Blinken emphasized the U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine.

"Secretary Blinken commended first lady Zelenska's work to help Ukrainians impacted by the war," Price said. "He reiterated that the United States will continue to provide assistance to help Ukraine respond to the significant economic and humanitarian challenges it faces, including supporting the first lady's mental health initiative for citizens affected by the war."

Zelenska's schedule also includes going to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to address lawmakers.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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