6 Dec 2023 15:22

'Nothing catastrophic' about cancellation of Zelensky's speech at Senate briefing - Ukrainian ambassador to U.S

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) - There is "nothing catastrophic" about the cancellation of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's speech at a classified briefing in the U.S. Senate, Ukrainian media cited Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova as saying during a telethon on Wednesday.

"Nothing catastrophic really happened. A number of internal closed briefings were planned for December 5. [U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd] Austin and other members of the administration delivered speeches at them. Indeed, there was an idea to join one of these several meetings if it was possible. We, the whole delegation, are actively working right there. There were very many briefings today. That is why, they addressed not only Ukraine, but also domestic issues. We did not participate today," Markarova said.

According to media reports, Zelensky was initially expected to take part in a classified briefing in the U.S. Senate and a briefing in the House of Representatives by video link. The briefings were held overnight into Wednesday. Shortly before their start, Ukrainian media said, referring to CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju, who, in turn, cited Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, that Zelensky would not participate in them.

"Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Ukrainian President Zelensky is not going to attend [the] classified briefing virtually anymore because of a last-minute matter. Zelensky also didn't end up appearing virtually at the House briefing on Ukraine, lawmakers said," Raju said on social media.

Schumer said earlier that President Joe Biden's administration had invited the Ukrainian president to attend a classified briefing in Senate by secure video link.