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Global Times

Pelosi visits Kiev to 'maximize' US' support and prolong Russia-Ukraine conflict, inflate 'political legacy'

Global Times

By Zhang Hui Published: May 01, 2022 10:37 PM

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced visit to Kiev on Sunday, the highest-ranking American official to visit Ukraine since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and Chinese analysts said it indicated that the Biden administration was maximizing US support to Ukraine while deceiving the domestic voters as much as it can that US won't get involved in the conflict.

But analysts warned that Pelosi's visit and the US' hefty aid to Ukraine, served to increase its efforts to prolong the conflict to weaken Russia, are likely to further escalate the Russia-Ukraine conflict which may even spill over into nearby countries.

Pelosi and members of a Congressional delegation, including Chairman Jim McGovern, Chairman Gregory Meeks and Chairman Adam Schiff visited Kiev on Sunday, and Pelosi said the delegation traveled to Kiev to "send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine."

"Our delegation proudly delivered the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden's strong funding request into a legislative package," according to a press release from Pelosi's office after the delegation's visit to Kiev. The statement said it was the first official Congressional delegation to have visited Ukraine following the conflict.

The delegation met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with Zelensky later writing on Twitter that "The US 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, an associate professor at the 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 US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is quite high level, which showed that the visit was deceptive, as on one hand, facing domestic economic pressure, Biden tried to deceive his voters at home that US won't engage itself in the conflict, and on the other, attempting to increase efforts to support Ukraine to deal with the pressure from his allies following the Kiev visit of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

And it's apparent that the US is hoping to fan the flames with a flood of aid trying to close the room for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, Diao said.

Lü Xiang, an expert on international relations and a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday that US hoped Pelosi's visit could show US' long-term support to Ukraine, indicating US enhanced its efforts to prolong the Russia-Ukraine conflict to achieve the purpose of weakening and pressuring Russia.

After the visit, the US is likely to increase its aid to Ukraine as Pelosi had said that she hoped to pass a $33 billion aid package for Ukraine as soon as possible, with the amount of aid described by Reuters as "a dramatic escalation of US funding for Ukraine."

Lü said that the visit and following aid are likely to escalate the Russia-Ukraine conflict as the $33 billion aid included more weapons and ammunition, with fears that the conflict may spill over into countries including Moldova and Poland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said to lawmakers last week that if any other country intervenes in Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, Russia will launch a "lightning-fast" response, according to the Moscow Times.

When the media released the news that Biden was expected to announce another round of military support to Ukraine, worth $800 million, at the end of April, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the US and Western countries it controls were doing everything to drag out Russia's operation as much as possible with "intentions to provoke the Kiev regime to fight to the last Ukrainian."

Diao said for Pelosi herself, she wanted to leave a political legacy through the visit as this was possibly her final term as House speaker.

Pelosi postponed a reportedly planned visit to Taiwan island last month after testing positive for COVID-19 and following the Chinese Foreign Ministry's warning of resolute and forceful measures if the visit took place.

Diao warned that it's possible for Pelosi to take reckless moves relating to China, and China should maintain keen vigilance at her following moves.

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