McConnell Discusses Kyiv Visit and Overwhelming Bipartisan Support for Assisting Ukraine
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Ukraine:
“Yesterday, in a bipartisan landslide, the Senate advanced legislation to get more arms and assistance to the innocent people of Ukraine.
“Senators Collins, Cornyn, Barrasso and I just returned last night from Europe. Our first stop was Kyiv.
“It was moving to feel some of the impacts of Putin’s aggression. To see a free and independent nation made to fight for its life.
“But it was also inspiring to witness the bravery and determination that have united Ukrainians in the face of the onslaught. Ukraine has had more than its share of domestic political differences in recent years.
“Putin must have thought some Ukrainians would welcome invading Russian forces. Instead, both Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking Ukrainians have united in defense of their sovereign nation.
“Some predicted Ukraine would fold in a few days and Russia would stroll right to Kyiv. That was wrong, too. Ukraine is tough, and Kyiv remains in Ukrainian hands, with life moving back towards normalcy despite the continued threat.
“Our delegation was honored to meet with President Zelenskyy. He expressed his gratitude to the United States for our leadership and support on a bipartisan basis, as well as for other countries that have stood by his people in their time of need.
“America is not the only free country that has Ukraine’s back. President Zelenskyy was moved by certain European countries who have given Ukraine – in his words – ‘everything they had.’
“Of course, other European countries can and should do more to help Ukraine. And the Administration should lead an effort to ensure broad, sustained international support for Ukraine.
“America’s support to Ukraine has highlighted the limits to our stockpiles of certain munitions and shortcomings in our defense production capacity. A number of European countries have dipped even deeper into their weapons inventories. They will need to refill also.
“As our European friends wake up from their ‘holiday from history’ and increase defense spending, I hope the U.S. will be a reliable supplier of advanced weaponry to our NATO allies. A textbook win-win.
“Our delegation reiterated to President Zelenskyy the bipartisan consensus which the Senate demonstrated with last night’s vote: The United States of America has Ukraine’s back and will stand with our friends until they win.
“Ukraine is not asking anybody else to fight their fight. They’re only asking for help getting the resources and tools they need to defend themselves.
“And we and our friends and partners across the free world will stand behind Ukraine until they achieve victory as they define it. The outcome of this fight has major ramifications for the West and the Ukrainians should not be left to stand alone.
“As an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Senate reaffirmed yesterday, America’s decision to support Ukraine is not some frivolous act of charity. It serves our own national security and strategic interests for international borders to continue to mean something.
“It serves our own security and interest to impose massive costs on Putin’s long-running campaign of violent imperialism. And it directly and powerfully serves our national interest to deter potential future wars of aggression before they start.
“I assure you that Xi Jinping and the CCP are watching Ukraine carefully. There is a concrete reason why democratic Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan are rooting hard for Ukraine to prevail. Moreover, if we are stuck in a long-term strategic competition with China, we will want a stable, secure, and strong Europe by our side."
Related Issues: Russia, National Security, Senate Democrats