US official in Ukraine to show support ahead of vote

US official in Ukraine to show support ahead of vote


A senior official in President Joe Biden’s administration visited Ukraine on Tuesday to pledge further support, a week ahead of congressional elections in which some Republicans have vowed closer scrutiny of billions of dollars in war aid.

Karen Donfried, the foreign ministry’s top official for Europe, is visiting Ukraine until Wednesday and will hold talks with officials in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s cabinet.

“The focus of her trip is to underscore the unwavering and continued US support for Ukraine as she defends her freedom and territorial integrity from Russia’s brutal war,” the State Department said in a statement.

She is also meeting with staff at the US embassy in Kyiv, which has remained operational despite intensified Russian strikes in the Ukrainian capital, including its electricity and water supplies.

The US Congress in May pledged $40 billion to Ukraine, with cross-party support as the country fends off Russian invaders.

Kevin McCarthy, who is set to become Speaker of the House if the Republicans win next week’s election, recently warned that there would be no “blank check” for Ukraine if his party was in control.

Ukraine enjoys the support of much of the Republican base, although far-right lawmakers close to former President Donald Trump have voiced criticism.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, who visited Kyiv on September 8, will also express his support for Ukraine in talks with colleagues from the Group of Seven Industrial Nations this week in Munster, Germany.

Howard Solomon, a deputy to Donfried, said the G7 will discuss ways to assist Ukraine as winter sets in amid Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure.

“I think there are many common positions and solidarity – and I think also among populations, even within Europe, within the United States – on the need to support Ukraine’s heroic efforts to withstand this invasion,” he said told reporters.

In Münster, Blinken will also take part in a forum on the future of democracy together with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

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