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Speaker Kevin McCarthy rejects invitation to visit Ukraine by Zelenskyy

In this photo from June 23, 2021, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a press conference about COVID-19 and China. (Michael Brochstein/Zuma Wire/TNS)
March 09, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenkyy’s invitation to visit his war-torn country.

Zelenskyy told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that McCarthy “has to come here to see how we work, what’s happening here, what war caused us, which people are fighting now, who are fighting now” before making any “assumptions.”

McCarthy later told CNN that he would not travel to Ukraine and reiterated his position that the United States should not be funding Ukraine with a “blank check.”

“Let’s be very clear about what I said: no blank checks, OK? So, from that perspective, I don’t have to go to Ukraine to understand where there’s a blank check or not,” McCarthy said. “I will continue to get my briefings and others, but I don’t have to go to Ukraine or Kyiv to see it. And my point has always been, I won’t provide a blank check for anything.”

Blitzer noted to Zelenskyy that some American lawmakers have spoken out against funding the ongoing war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian president said he didn’t care were the support comes from “as long as it’s powerful and constant.”

“Firstly, I would like to thank the bipartisan support of Ukraine – it’s very important,” Zelensky said. “Recently, I had a meeting with representatives of the Republican Party and I’m thankful to the congressmen who visited Ukraine. They told me that they want to support Ukraine very much, like the Democrats.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is increasing the production of weapons at some locations that were previously shut down to meet the demands of American military commitments to Ukraine.

Ukrainian military forces are reportedly consuming up to 7,000 artillery rounds per day, pushing the need for new supplies.

“One year ago, Russia launched its brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The United States has rallied the world in response, working with our allies and partners to provide Ukraine with critical security, economic, and humanitarian assistance and leading unprecedented efforts to impose costs on Russia for its aggression,” a White House fact sheet said last month.

“This week, President Biden visited Kyiv, Ukraine and Warsaw, Poland to send a clear and powerful message that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” it added.