US senators visiting Kiev vow to continue bipartisan support after the election

US senators visiting Kiev vow to continue bipartisan support after the election

KIEV, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic counterpart Chris Coons vowed bipartisan support for Ukraine would continue after next week’s midterm parliamentary elections as they traveled to Kiev on Thursday.

The senators told reporters they had “very positive” talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky and visited an energy facility that Coons said was hit by a Russian strike using an Iran-supplied drone.

“Now we can see that Putin’s goal is to scare Ukraine by trying to make the winter dark and cold,” Coons said in the huge, chilly church that is now a World Food Program aid center in Kiev.

The visit comes amid speculation that Republicans, seen as the favorites to take control of the House of Representatives after Tuesday’s midterm elections, could scale back US support for Ukraine.

American and other Western military and financial support has been vital to the Eastern European nation’s struggle to repel the Russian invasion.

House Republican Kevin McCarthy said in October that American voters would not “write a blank check” to Kiev during the recession. Portman appeared to refer to those remarks in Kiev when he said some of his Republican colleagues had been “misconstrued.”

“It is in America’s national security interest that Russia fail (in Ukraine),” Portman said. However, he added that there should be “more accountability” in providing aid, without elaborating.

Reporting by Max Hunder; edited by Tom Balmforth and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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