McConnell and other Republican senators are making a secret visit to Ukraine.

WASHINGTON – Kentucky minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell visited Ukraine on Saturday to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and lead a delegation of US lawmakers to the country as the United States deepens its commitment to Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion.

McConnell’s surprise visit, who was accompanied by three other Republican senators, comes as the Senate works to pass a $40 billion emergency military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine. It comes after a series of other secret visits, including by the First Lady, Jill BidenAnd Spokesperson Nancy Pelosi.

The trip, a rare international visit for Mr. McConnell, highlights widespread bipartisan support for Ukraine in Washington as the country tries to fend off a Russian invasion, even as questions remain about the Biden administration’s overall strategy toward the conflict and the scope of US assistance. .

“Helping Ukraine is not just an example of philanthropy — it directly impacts America’s national security and vital interests that Russia’s naked aggression does not work and has significant costs,” McConnell said this week. “If Ukraine fails to fend off Russian aggression, there is no doubt that the threat to American and European security will increase.”

The flight was disclosed by Mr. Zelensky’s office. Details are not yet available from lawmakers.

Mr. McConnell was joined by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of his leadership team and the Committee on Foreign Relations. John Cornyn Texas, member of the Intelligence Committee. and Susan Collins of Maine, who sits on both the Intelligence Committee and the Appropriations Committee, which oversees government funding.

Thursday, the Senate Failed to speed up traffic Of the $40 billion emergency package for Ukraine, where Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky refused to agree to waive procedural hurdles and agree to the measure without giving him a chance to add a proposal to create an inspector general to oversee how the money is spent. The measure is still expected to pass as soon as next week.