Ukrainian ambassador to attend Senate GOP lunch
The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, will attend the Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday, a source familiar with the event confirmed.
In addition, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) invited Markarova to speak at the Senate Democrats’ weekly caucus lunch on Tuesday, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told The Hill.
The development comes after President Biden signed legislation on Monday allowing the U.S. to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine and other allies in Eastern Europe while streamlining the process.
The bill, which revives a World War II-era policy that helped defeat Nazi Germany, follows Biden’s announcement last week to send another $150 million in military aid to Ukraine.
Democrats are also proposing an additional nearly $40 billion in new assistance to Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion that will not be linked to a stalled $10 billion coronavirus assistance package.
That proposal may hit the floor as soon as Tuesday, but Republicans signaled that they had not yet signed off on the Democratic proposal.
If all 50 Democratic members support a package that does not include coronavirus aid, they would need at least 10 GOP votes in the Senate for it to pass.
Earlier this month, Markarova hailed a surprise visit to Kyiv by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic lawmakers, saying it symbolized deep support from the U.S.
“We’re very happy that right after a visit of Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin, right after the visit of our prime minister here, it was a special delight to see Madam Speaker with the delegation in Kyiv meeting with our president,” Markarova told anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky one week earlier.
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