Ukraine’s ambassador to meet with senators on Capitol Hill

The Capitol is seen from the East Front Plaza during sunset on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.
Greg Nash

Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova is scheduled to meet with senators on Capitol Hill Monday night, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stretches into its fifth day.

Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are hosting the meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m. eastern time, according to a Portman spokesperson. They are the co-chairs of the Senate Ukraine Caucus.

More than a dozen bipartisan senators are expected to attend the gathering, according to the spokesperson. Axios first reported on the meeting.

Attendees will “engage in a wide-ranging discussion touching on everything from the situation on the ground to additional action Congress and the administration can take in the coming days to help the Ukrainian people as they continue to fight for their freedom,” according to Drew Nirenberg, a spokesperson for Portman.

The scheduled meeting comes on the fifth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last week after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine.

While Russian forces have entered into a number of Ukrainian cities, their efforts have been slowed by resistance from Ukrainian troops and private citizens.

Ukrainian and Russian officials met on the Belarusian border for cease-fire talks on Monday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office previously said Kyiv wanted to reach a cease-fire and compel Russian forces to leave the former Soviet state.

Talks closed on Monday without any immediate agreements, according to The Associated Press. The two sides did, however, say they would continue to engage in discussions, the news service noted.

The meeting with Markarova comes days after the White House requested that Congress approve $6.4 billion in additional funding to help respond to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

It also comes roughly two months after Portman and Durbin organized a December video call where Zelensky spoke with more than 20 lawmakers amid the tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.

Jordain Carney contributed.

Tags Bipartisan group Dick Durbin invasion Rob Portman Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Senate Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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