One of several photos issued on Tuesday 1 October showed Cruise among a small group of people seated at a table with Zelensky, who was a successful media producer, actor and comedian before embarking on a career in politics.
“The President of Ukraine, for his part, told the guest about his own experience in cinema,” an accompanying statement said.
Another photo showed Zelensky next to a smiling Cruise, with the caption: “I am happy that Ukraine is starting to attract world-class stars.”
A video of an exchange between the pair showed Zelensky telling Cruise: “You’re very good-looking, like in [the] movies.”
“It pays the rent,” a laughing Cruise responds.
Cruise is the latest Hollywood star invited by Zelensky – who is keen to build a bigger global profile for his country – to visit Ukraine. The president has previously shared photos of his meetings with Mila Kunis, who was born in Ukraine, and her husband Ashton Kutcher, as well as actor Robin Wright, and Chernobyl series producer Craig Mazin.
The Mission Impossible star’s visit comes amid controversy surrounding a phone call between Zelensky and US president Donald Trump, during which Trump allegedly tried to pressure Zelensky to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Zelensky has denied being pressured by Trump and reiterated a statement this week that he will not “follow any commands”.
An impeachment inquiry against Trump has since been launched by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In response, Trump appeared to threaten a second US civil war should he be removed from office.
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