Biden 'Should Come to See' the Situation in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy Says

'It's his decision, of course,' the Ukrainian president tells CNN, but says a presidential visit is likely. Ukraine 'needs more' help from to counter Russia's invasion, Zelenskyy also says

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A view shows a torn flag of Ukraine hung on a wire in front an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, last week.
A view shows a torn flag of Ukraine hung on a wire in front an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, last week. Credit: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on U.S. President Joe Biden to visit the war-torn country in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

"I think he's the leader of the United States and that's why he should come here to see," Zelenskyy said.

"It's his decision, of course," Zelenskyy said, adding that any plans would depend on the security situation, but that he thought it likely Biden would come at some point.

Washington has reportedly been considering sending Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin or Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit Ukraine, which, if true, would make it unlikely Biden himself would travel to the country in the immediate future.

Zelenskyy welcomed the $800 million aid package approved by Biden last week, but that Ukraine "needs more."

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in North Carolina, last week.Credit: REUTERS/Leah Millis

"I feel that right now we are having a cleaner dialogue. It's been a dialogue that's had some twists and turns. And not just talk. It's been very, very difficult because there aren't many countries that have really helped us," the Ukrainian president continued.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba meanwhile said there had not been any recent diplomatic communications between Russia and Ukraine at the level of their foreign ministries and that the situation in the port of Mariupol, which he described as "dire", may be a "red line" in the path of negotiations.

"Mariupol may be a red line", he told CBS News in an interview on Sunday. Ukrainian soldiers resisted a Russian ultimatum to lay down arms on Sunday in the pulverized port of Mariupol, which Moscow said its forces had almost completely seized in what would be its biggest prize of the nearly two-month war.

Russia said on Saturday it had control of urban parts of the city, with some Ukrainian fighters remaining in the Azovstal steelworks overlooking the Sea of Azov. Capturing Mariupol, the main port in the southeastern region of Donbas, would be a strategic prize for Russia, connecting territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.

After failing to overcome Ukrainian resistance in the north, the Russian military has refocused its ground offensive on Donbas while maintaining long-distance strikes elsewhere including the capital, Kyiv. About four million Ukrainians have fled the country, cities have been shattered and thousands have died since the start of the invasion on February 24.

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