Republican Delegation Led by McConnell Meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Republican Delegation Led by McConnell Meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pose for a photo in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 14, 2022. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was joined by other high-profile Republicans on an unannounced visit to Kyiv, according to a video shared by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Instagram.

The video, posted on May 14, shows the GOP delegates greeting and shaking hands with Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian politicians, before posing for a group photo in front of American and Ukrainian flags.

Joining McConnell were Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and John Cornyn of Texas.

It is unclear when the visit took place and whether the lawmakers were still in Ukraine on Saturday.

In a message accompanying the video, Zelenskyy thanked the delegates for the visit and the message it sends.

“The visit of the U.S. Senate delegation led by the leader of the Republican minority in the upper house of Congress [Mitch] McConnell is a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people,” a translation of Zelenskyy’s post says.

“Thank you for your leadership in helping us fight not only for our country, but also for democratic values and freedoms. We really appreciate it,” Zelenskyy added.

The visit comes as congressional efforts to pass nearly $40 billion in additional military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine have stalled in the Senate after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked a vote, demanding the inclusion of a provision that would designate a watchdog to oversee how the funds are spent.

“It’s irresponsible to shovel $40 billion out the door without knowing where it goes,” Paul told reporters on May 12.

Paul, who has often been a vocal critic of large deficit spending, objected to fast-tracking the massive aid package amid surging inflation.

“No matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul said. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

McConnell joined Democrats in opposing Paul’s push.

“Helping Ukraine is not an instance of mere philanthropy,” McConnell said. “It bears directly on America’s national security and vital interests that Russia’s naked aggression not succeed and carries significant costs.”

The House voted on May 10 to approve the aid package, with all Democrats voting for and 57 Republicans voting against.

If approved, the new Ukraine support package would bring the total amount of U.S. aid to the region to over $50 billion.

From The Epoch Times

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