WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a delegation of GOP senators met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv during an unannounced visit Saturday, delivering the latest show of American solidarity with the country at war with Russia.
A video posted on Zelensky’s Telegram account showed McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. John Cornyn, John Barrasso and Susan Collins from Maine greeted him at the capital. Zelensky, in an Instagram post, called the visit “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”
This trip was made at a moment when the Senate is preparing to approve nearly $40 billion in aid for Ukraine. It’s a significant boost of American support to the region that could reach well beyond $50 billion. It includes $6 billion to Ukraine, for equipment and training of its forces and $4 billion to finance the building up their military capabilities.
Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky delayed the passage of the legislation Thursday. He demanded that the proposal for an inspector general be included in the budget to ensure proper oversight of the expenditures. Final approval of the bill is possible in the coming week, reflecting the overwhelming support from Congress to replenish the Ukrainian war effort.
“They’re only asking for the resources they need to defend themselves against this deranged invasion,” McConnell said this past week of the Ukrainians. “And they need this help right now.”
In just two weeks, it was the second stop by high-profile congressional representatives in Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited on May 1 with a group of House Democrats and promised Zelensky that the United States will “be there for you until the fight is done.”
First lady Jill Biden visited western Ukraine last weekend for a Mother’s Day meeting with Zelensky’s wife, Olena Zelenska.
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