Press Office of the President of Ukraine / AP
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Senate Republican delegation to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday He said he expected the Senate to approve a $ 40 billion bailout package for Ukraine on Wednesday.
McConnell said he was in favor of including Russia in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and would support a vote on the issue, but urged President Biden to do so on his own.
Speaking from Stockholm, McConnell said that he supports the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO.
McConnell pushed back his party members, who argued that the United States should not exist spending billions to send weapons to ensure security to Ukraine.
McConnell said the aid to Ukraine was “in America’s interests.” He added: “It’s not material. “This is to prevent the ruthless bandit from starting the march through Europe. The first place to stop him is Ukraine. That is what we have decided to do.”
He also responded to some GOP figures who criticized the current US role in Ukraine. “There have always been voices of isolation in the Republican Party, there were before World War II, it’s perfectly normal,” McConnell said. “This is a debate worth having. That’s a good topic. And I do not think that one of the lessons we have learned from World War II is to resist aggression prematurely. That’s a big mistake. ”
As for the political right, which says the United States should focus resources on the southern border, McConnell said it was “either an offer or not.”
Asked if Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul postponed the aid vote last week, McConnell said: “It’s no secret that Rand: and I have different worldviews.” He added that “we will do the job by Wednesday.”
McConnell said it was by no means certain how long the $ 40 billion package would last, but said he expected it to provide support “for a significant period of time.” Biden’s administration first presented its version of the aid packagewhich was initially smaller until the current fiscal year ending September 30.
The Republican from Kentucky said he intends to brief President Biden on his direction when he returns to the United States.
In: Interview with NPR On Thursday, McConnell said he believed the administration’s attitude toward Ukraine had improved after initially believing it was too “experimental”, while noting that it had close ties with Biden.
The GOP leader said he had offered to accept Ukraine’s assistance from the White House, separating it from more controversial aid in response to COVID-19.
“So we are all on the same team,” McConnell told NPR. “The Russians must lose, the Ukrainians must win.”
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