Biden Welcomes Ukraine's First Lady To White House With A Special Gesture, Hails Her 'Tenacity And Resilience'

President Joe Biden welcomed the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska to the White House with a special gesture on Tuesday.

What Happened: Biden’s official Twitter handle shared a photo showing the president welcoming Zelenska with a bouquet of sunflowers — the national flower of Ukraine.

“First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska embodies the same tenacity and resilience as the country she hails from,” said Biden.

Why It Matters: Zelenska is on a series of high-profile appearances in Washington that will include a session with her U.S. counterpart, Jill Biden

Sunflowers are a symbol of Ukraine’s national identity, according to a report from the Smithsonian magazine.

At the beginning of the invasion, a video of a woman confronting Russian soldiers became viral. She urged the soldiers to put sunflower seeds in their pockets so that Sunflowers would pop up in the spot where they were buried in Ukraine.

Ukraine is also the largest producer of sunflower seed in the world. In 2021-2022 the nation produced 17.5 million metric tonnes, according to data from Statista.

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