On Saturday, POLITICO Playbook and CNN revealed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with a delegation of Republican senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (ME), John Barrasso (WY), and John Cornyn (TX).
Zelenskyy posted photos and video footage from his Facebook and Instagram accounts about the meeting.
The official website of the President of Ukraine explained more about the meeting, which touched upon more aid and more sanctions:
The President noted the special role of the United States in increasing sanctions pressure on Russia. In particular, he stressed the adoption by the United States Congress of laws banning the import of Russian oil and the suspension of trade relations with Russia and Belarus.
Also, according to him, it is especially important to increase the sanctions pressure on the banking sector of the aggressor country.
"I look forward to the United States' support for further sanctions. In addition, we believe that Russia should be officially recognized as a state - sponsor of terrorism," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The President thanked the United States for its leadership in supporting Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also expressed hope that the US Senate will promptly approve a package of additional funding to support the Ukrainian people, which has already been considered in the House of Representatives and increased from $ 33 billion up to $ 39.6 billion.
McConnell's office also released a statement, calling the meeting "an honor." It also noted that "Ukraine is not asking anybody else to fight their fight. They only ask for the tools they need for self-defense." McConnell called on other allies to step up as well. "It is also essential that America not stand alone. Our allies and partners must continue to step up and do their part."
A delegation of Senate Republicans just left Ukraine after visiting Kyiv and meeting with President Zelenskyy. We saw firsthand the courage, unity, and resolve of the Ukrainian people. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/bsgCMLiZ6M— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) May 14, 2022
The statement closed by noting that "It is squarely in our national interest to help Ukraine achieve victory in this war and to help Ukraine and other countries deter other wars of aggression before they start."
Zelenskyy thanked Pelosi over Twitter for the $40 billion aid that had passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
I thank @SpeakerPelosi and all friends of ???? in ???? House of Representatives for the quick approval of the law on additional financial support for our state initiated by @POTUS. We are looking forward to consideration of this important document for us by the Senate.— ????????? ?????????? (@ZelenskyyUa) May 11, 2022
While the aid has indeed passed the House, it failed to pass with unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is concerned about oversight.
All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent. Anyone who is opposed to this is irresponsible.— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 13, 2022
It’s threatening our own national security, and it’s frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula.— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 13, 2022
McConnell has indicated that he expects the Senate to consider the aid in a vote on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has still not made such a trip, though, despite Zelenskyy's past statements expressing hope that he will.
McConnell just met Zelenskyy in Kyiv, but he has NEVER been to our own open southern border.— James P. Bradley For US Senate CA (@JamesBradleyCA) May 15, 2022
Again, this is not a war, it’s a massive cash grab by the uniparty they want you to think doesn’t exist!
More Democrats have visited Ukraine than our southern border.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 14, 2022
With McConnell's visit to Ukraine, both sides of the aisle have now been criticized for not doing more when it comes to our own southern border to deal with the crisis there.
Who would be shocked if the Putin loving traitor Republicans visiting Ukraine today gave up Zelenskyy’s exact whereabouts to the Russian military…? Sorry but that’s how much McConnell, Cornyn, etc can be trusted. https://t.co/PXrEikTnRW— Shawn Patterson???? (@shawnmpatterson) May 14, 2022
There were some of the more polite comments towards McConnell, as others accused him of being a "traitor."