Murkowski travels to Ukraine, meets briefly with Zelenskyy to investigate American spending

Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first member of Alaska’s congressional delegation to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion of that country 14 months ago.

 The Alaska Republican joined two Democrats — Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona — on an oversight trip.

 “We are here, somewhat in an oversight role. The United States has contributed significantly to the effort on behalf of the people of Ukraine,” she said.

 “The United States’ commitment is an investment. It’s an investment in democracy and the free world,” Murkowski said.

 During a brief news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, Kelly said the senators spent “a couple hours” meeting with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his leadership team to hear what their needs and wants are as they continue to defend their country against the ongoing Russian invasion.

 “We want to be as supportive as possible,” Kelly said.

 Also present on the trip was country musician Brad Paisley.

 Murkowski, asked about possible declining Republican support for Ukraine’s defense — leading Republican candidates for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination have questioned American involvement — said she doesn’t think the defense of Ukraine should come down to a difference between Republicans and Democrats.

 “This cannot be a partisan split. This cannot be a partisan effort. This needs to be the United States standing with Ukraine every step of the way,” she said.

 Murkowski is a member of the defense appropriations subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

 Many other senators have traveled to Ukraine since the invasion, either to show support for the defenders or to investigate issues on the ground.

 “We’re in it to win it with them, and we’ll give them all the support they need,” Manchin said.

 Neither Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, nor Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, have visited the country since the invasion, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether any state officials have done so.

By:  James Brooks
Source: Alaska Beacon