Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy urged US lawmakers on Tuesday to continue their “unwavering” support for Kyiv, even if Republicans gain majority control of the House of Representatives.
As Americans head to the polls Tuesday for the midterm elections, officials around the world are watching to see if and how the balance of power will shift between Democrats and Republicans.
Kyiv has relied heavily on US support during the eight-month war that followed Russia’s invasion in February, but concern has grown in the war-torn nation that Washington’s support could weaken if Republicans gain control of Congress.
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Polls have suggested the GOP could regain majority control in the lower house, while Senate races remain hotly contested.
Zelenskyy has largely refrained from commenting on the US political scene as Americans prepare for several close midterm elections, but on Tuesday he urged Congress to continue his support no matter which party makes gains.
“When this war started, Ukraine heard something very important from the world: we heard that ‘democracies are here.’ And now we see what democracies are capable of when they act in unity,” he said in a speech after Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, awarded him the Medal of Freedom.
“I call on you to maintain unbreakable unity, as it is now, until that very day when we all hear those important words we have been dreaming of,” he continued. “Until we hear that peace has finally been restored.
“Democracies must not stop on their way to victory,” he urged.
The United States has been the world’s leading supplier of arms, aid, and financial support to Ukraine, providing $18.2 billion in security assistance since January 2021, approximately $17.6 billion of which has been provided since the invasion of february.
While support for Ukraine has largely been a bipartisan issue in the Senate, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took issue with the issue last month when he said Republicans would not write a “blank check” if they recover the smallest camera.
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Polls released last month by Reuters showed that 75% of Americans still support helping Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin, but McCarthy and other hardline lawmakers have said this support will not hold up against rising violence. inflation.
“I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy told reporters in October.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, echoed similar sentiments, vowing Friday that “with the Republicans, not one more dime will go to Ukraine” if the GOP wins the House.
“Our country comes first,” he added.
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The Biden administration has worked to ease concerns about US support, and on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield met with Zelenskyy and members of his leadership team “to discuss commitment unwavering commitment of the United States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. “
“She reiterated that the United States is steadfast in its support of Ukraine and stands ready to support Ukraine for as long as necessary,” US Mission to the United Nations spokesman Nate Evans said. “She promised to continue working at the United Nations to strengthen international support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and urge member states to uphold international law and the UN charter.”