Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senate delegation met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited Kyiv Saturday without notice, to show solidarity with the United States in the war against Russia.
The video posted to Zelenskyy’s Telegram account includes McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Susan Collins, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas were seen welcoming him in the capital. Zelensky said in an Instagram post that the visit was “a strong signal that the US Congress and the American people support Ukraine.”
The visit came while the Senate was trying to approve a nearly $40 billion package for Ukraine. The bill includes $6 billion in Ukraine for intelligence, equipment and military training, and $4 billion in funding to help Ukraine and its NATO allies build their troops.
Passage was delayed Thursday by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who called on the Inspector General to include a proposal to look into new spending. However, final approval is no doubt and could come next week, reflecting parliament’s overwhelming support to supplement Ukraine’s war effort.
McConnell told Ukrainians last week: “And they need this help now.”
It was the second high-level parliamentary delegation to visit Ukraine in weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) visited a group of Democrats on May 1 and promised Zelenskyy that America “will be there for you until the fight is over.”
First Lady Jill Biden visited western Ukraine last weekend for a Mother’s Day meeting with Zelensky’s wife, Olena Zelenska.