LOUISVILLE — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv this week, according to a Telegram post from the Ukrainian leader.
The U.S. senator from Kentucky was joined by three other GOP leaders, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas and John Barrasso of Wyoming. Zelenskyy published the announcement on his official Telegram channel on Saturday morning, though it was not clear whether the U.S. officials are still in the European country.
The visit marks “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress, as well as from the American people,” Zelenskyy wrote on his Telegram.
Ukraine has pushed for more international funding and other resources since Russia invaded the country earlier this year. While the nation has forced a retreat in some cities, including Kharkiv, Ukraine needs additional support to continue to fight.
McConnell told Senate colleagues this week that he supports the latest round of assistance recently passed by the U.S. House.
“Helping Ukraine is not an instance of mere philanthropy. It bears directly on America’s national security and vital interests that Russia’s naked aggression not succeed and carries significant costs,” McConnell said Thursday, according to a press release published on the senator’s site.
On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky stalled a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which was supported by his fellow Kentuckian leader McConnell.
Paul wanted to add a provision to the bill that would assign an inspector general to oversee how the money would be spent. When that didn’t happen, he objected and effectively forced the Senate to wait until next week to vote on the aid for Ukraine because of procedural rules.
Representatives for McConnell did not immediately respond for an emailed request for comment.
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Reach Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez at [email protected]; follow her on Twitter at @SoyAnaAlvarez