Zelensky says he called for recognition of Russia as a ‘terrorist state’ during meeting with US Senate GOP delegation
McConnell said in a statement late Saturday that the delegation “had just left” Ukraine and called it “an honor” to meet with Zelensky and his top advisers. McConnell was joined on the unannounced trip by Republican Sens. Susan Collins from Maine, John Barrasso from Wyoming and John Cornyn from Texas.
McConnell and the other senators became the latest US officials to visit Ukraine since Russia invaded the Eastern European nation in late February.
The Kentucky Republican said in the statement that the delegation “reaffirmed” to Zelensky “that the United States stands firmly behind Ukraine and will maintain our support until Ukraine wins this war. It is also essential that America is not left alone.
He continued: “It is squarely in our national interest to help Ukraine achieve victory in this war and to help Ukraine and other countries deter further wars of aggression before they occur. don’t start.”
In his Saturday night address, Zelensky said he discussed with the delegation US support for Ukraine and tougher sanctions against Russia.
“I believe this visit once again demonstrates the strength of bipartisan support for our state, the strength of the ties between the Ukrainian and American nations,” Zelensky said.
The Ukrainian president added that he “expressed his gratitude for the historic decision to renew the Lend Lease program” during the visit of the GOP delegation.
Zelensky said on his Instagram account earlier Saturday that the GOP delegation’s visit was “a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”
He added on Instagram, “Thank you for your leadership in helping us in our fight not only for our country, but also for democratic values and freedoms. We really appreciate it.”
A statement posted on Zelensky’s official website following the meeting with GOP senators noted that the Ukrainian leader “expressed the hope that the US Senate will quickly approve an additional funding package to support the people of Ukraine.”
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.