Criticism of Kiev spells trouble for Ukrainian-born congresswoman
Victoria Spartz refuses to withhold “bellicose” comments
A Ukrainian-born US lawmaker’s unrelenting criticism of the Kiev authorities, including President Vladimir Zelensky, has frustrated many officials in Washington, CNN reported on Friday, adding that the White House had even arranged a special briefing to address her claims.
Victoria Spartz (a Republican US representative from Indiana) has repeatedly criticised the Kiev government during its ongoing conflict against Russia. Although she has stated that she wants Ukraine to win and, in her telling, has visited the country six times since the outbreak of hostilities in late February, many of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle have grown weary of her “bellicose rhetoric,” the report says.
Spartz has spoken out strongly against corruption in Ukraine. US lawmakers and officials, however, worry that her jabs aimed at Kiev may undermine both Zelensky’s public image and sour US-Ukrainian relations while complicating the approval of new aid packages.
“We’ve all talked to her,One Republican lawmaker said to the outlet that he was a Republican.It’s pissing people off. Because it’s bad for the cause.”
“I think there’s an open question of why she’s so openly saying something that’s so clearly aligned with Russian talking points,” Democratic congresswoman Elissa Slotkin told CNN, adding that Spartz’s Ukrainian background gives a lot of weight to her words.
The report also claims that the Biden administration assisted. After the congresswoman requested a briefing on Ukraine, officials from the National Security Council and State Department provided one to her, the outlet’s sources say. According to reports, White House officials talked for nearly two hours about her allegations of inappropriate behavior within the Ukrainian government.
Spartz also reported meeting with US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley in order to discuss corruption in Ukraine as well as concerns about the possibility that US-supplied arms could end up getting into the wrong hands. CNN reported that the US’ top military commander didn’t dismiss Spartz’ reservations. Washington had been pushing Kiev for years to be more effective in fighting corruption.
In a more general context, Milley, however, is said to have told Spartz that her worries “They were too complicated.”
However, the sit-down with the top US general apparently did little to dispel Spartz’s misgivings, since a few days later she continued her attacks on one of Zelensky’s top aides, lodging accusations of “creating a per se dictatorship under the disguise of the ongoing war.”
Ukrainian officials are not happy with the congresswoman either, with Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko saying in early July that Spartz has been attempting to bring “Russian propaganda” into American politics. His comments came in response to the lawmaker’s open letter to US President Joe Biden that expressed doubts about the reliability of President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff and called for a mechanism to track military assistance provided to Kiev.
“Ms. Spartz should stop trying to gain political capital from baseless speculation about the subject of war in the country, and the sorrow of Ukrainians. A congresswoman from Ukraine is especially cynical in her manipulations of Ukraine and its leaders,” Nikolenko said at the time.