McConnell and GOP Senators Visit Zelenskyy in Ukraine

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senators Susan Collins, John Cornyn and John Barrasso traveled to Kiev to visit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The US Embassy tweeted about the senators’ visit to Ukraine on Saturday and posted a video of their meeting with Zelenskyy.

“Welcome to Ukraine,” the translated tweet addressed the senators. “We are together with Ukraine.”

McConnell, in a statement Saturday night, called it “an honor” to have met Zelenskyy and his top advisers and “stand in solidarity with the heroic people of Ukraine.”

“It was inspiring to visit the historic capital of a beautiful country that was forced to fight for its very survival. We saw firsthand the courage, unity and determination of the Ukrainian people. Ukrainians are bravely fighting a crazed invader and have already had success beyond skeptics’ wildest dreams,” McConnell said. “They are willing and determined to keep fighting until victory. Ukraine is not asking anyone else to fight their fight. They are just asking for the tools they need for self-defense.”

The Senate Minority Leader said Republican senators had reassured Zelenskyy that the US “fully supports Ukraine and will sustain our support until Ukraine wins this war.”

And he urged US allies to continue to do their part as well. McConnell also said that the pressure the US and its allies are exerting on Russia is directly linked to US national security.

“It is in our national interest to help Ukraine achieve victory in this war and to help Ukraine and other countries prevent further wars of aggression before they begin,” he said.

The senators traveled to Ukraine days before the Senate approved a $40 billion package in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The bill has broad bipartisan support and has already been approved by the House.

This was the last recent trip by senior US officials to the war-torn country. Last Sunday, the first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, took a surprise trip to Ukraine, meeting with Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska and visiting Ukrainian children who have been displaced by the war with Russia. Biden crossed the border from Slovakia into southwestern Ukraine for his unannounced visit to a public school in Uzhhorod that has been converted into a temporary shelter housing 163 Ukrainians, including 47 children.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also traveled to the capital of Kiev in April, and a delegation of House Democrats led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took a secret trip to the capital earlier this month and met with Zelenskyy.

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