Zelenskyy said he had called for Russia to be recognized as a “terrorist state” at a meeting with the US Senate GOP delegation

Zelenskyy said he had called for Russia to be recognized as a “terrorist state” at a meeting with the US Senate GOP delegation

Zelenskyi said he spoke to the delegation about US support for Ukraine and tightening sanctions against Russia.

“I believe this visit once again demonstrates the strength of bipartisan support for our state and the strength of relations between the Ukrainian and American nations,” Zelenskyy said.

CNN previously reported that Zelenskyy asked President Joe Biden to appoint Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The President of Ukraine added in his address on Saturday that during the visit of the GOP delegation he “expressed gratitude for the historic decision to renew the Lend Lease program”.

Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act earlier this week. The new law, which eases some of the requirements for the US to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine, passed with a bipartisan majority in the US House of Representatives and Senate. His sponsors said the legislation gives Biden much broader powers to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and addresses how the US could bring guns to Ukraine more quickly.

Zelensky said on his Instagram account earlier Saturday that the GOP delegation’s visit was “a strong signal of the bipartisan support of Ukraine by the United States Congress and the American people.”

He added on Instagram: “Thank you for supporting us in our fight not only for our country but also for democratic values ​​and freedoms. We really appreciate that.”

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas were also seen meeting Zelensky in videos and photos posted to the Ukrainian president’s social media accounts.

It was unclear on Saturday evening whether the delegation was still in the Ukrainian capital.

First Lady Jill Biden is traveling to Ukraine unannounced
McConnell and the other senators were the last US officials to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the eastern European nation in late February. Two weeks ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the first congressional delegation to Ukraine since the outbreak of war. Pelosi, along with several senior House Democrats, met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
First Lady Jill Biden met with Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska last weekend in Uzhhorod, on the Slovakian border, at a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Zelenskyy in Kyiv last month.
Congress is currently attempting to pass a roughly $40 billion aid bill that would provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. In a rare show of unity, McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this week pushed for speedy passage of the bill after the House pushed the measure in a bipartisan vote. But Senate efforts were blocked on Thursday by Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, who has called for changes to the legislation. The Senate is now expected to pass the bill sometime next week, forcing Schumer to take procedural steps to overcome Paul’s objection before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk.

In a statement released on Zelensky’s official website after the meeting with GOP senators, the Ukrainian leader “expressed the hope that the US Senate would immediately approve a package of additional funds in support of Ukraine’s people will approve”.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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