A bipartisan group of senators will travel to Ukraine today to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials, as friction between Kyiv and Moscow intensifies.
Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. said they are making the trip "to reaffirm the U.S.' commitment to Ukraine, which continues to face an increasingly belligerent Russia."
According to a statement from the senators, meetings with Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials are scheduled for later today.
The development comes as U.S. officials warn that Russia is continuing to threaten Ukraine, despite a recent U.S. push for diplomacy that sought to calm tensions and avoid conflict.
On Thursday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that Moscow is planning a “false flag” operation that it will use as a pretext to attack Ukraine. More than 100,000 Russian troops have already amassed on the eastern border of Ukraine.
Monday's announcement from the senate delegation also came after Microsoft said on Saturday that dozens of Ukrainian computer systems, including government systems, had been infected with malware. Ukrainian authorities have since blamed Russia for the cyberattack.
During a video call last month, a group of more than 20 lawmakers spoke with the Ukrainian president, including some of the senators who are set to meet with Zelenskyy today, and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine in early December.
As the co-chairman of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, Sen. Portman stressed the importance of supporting Ukraine in Monday's announcement.
“I am proud to join my colleagues on this important trip to Ukraine,” Portman said. “Ukraine continues to defend its territorial integrity against an increasingly aggressive Russia, while also striving to enact critical domestic reforms to solidify its democracy — it is more important than ever that the U.S. support Ukraine in its efforts.”
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