Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to travel to the United States next week in a trip that will include a visit to the United Nations, Kyiv said Friday.
Zelensky will attend next week's high-level session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, a Ukrainian official told NBC News.
The preliminary schedule for the event said Zelensky would deliver remarks on Tuesday as part of the four-day event at U.N. headquarters alongside 40 leaders from other nations, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In his first appearance at the U.N. in person, after attending remotely last year, Zelensky was expected to use the Tuesday speech, high-level debates on Ukraine on Wednesday and face-to-face meetings with leaders to try to persuade a swathe of fence-sitting countries to back Kyiv in its struggle against Russia.
Many nations in the southern hemisphere in Africa, Asia and Latin America have avoided taking sides and have not joined sanctions or severed trade, business and diplomatic ties with Moscow over fears it would run counter to their national interests.
A contingent from the U.S. Congress is preparing to meet with Zelensky during his visit, NBC News reported, but details of a potential meeting with President Joe Biden, including where it would take place, were unclear as the White House declined to comment.
Biden and Zelensky last met in July at NATO's summit in Lithuania, when Biden pledged NATO membership for Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Kyiv last week with an offer of an assistance package worth almost $500 million for military financing, humanitarian aid and law enforcement in territory recaptured from Russia.
The U.S. State Department said the package was aimed at demonstrating the United States' "unwavering commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and democracy, especially in the face of Russia's aggression."
In August, the Biden administration asked Congress for a further $40 billion in emergency funding, including $10.5 billion earmarked to help Ukraine defend itself and $4.5 billion to replenish U.S. stockpiles of weapons and material diverted to Ukraine.
The administration had previously committed almost $44 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, funded in large part by supplemental appropriations to the tune of $48.7 billion approved by Congress over the last two fiscal years.