Representative Victoria Spartz, the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress, is urging the State Department to send its diplomats back to Ukraine.
Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, sent a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, saying the US should consider repatriating US diplomats to Lviv in western Ukraine to provide better coordination with Ukraine. Spartz pointed to the actions of the European Union, which returned its diplomatic corps to Kyiv.
“As the largest provider of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, it is the past that the United States follows our European allies,” Spartz wrote.
The US and other countries pulled their diplomats and evacuated embassies and consulates from Kyiv leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, relocating them to the western city of Lviv. Those officers were soon taken to Poland, to arrive in Lviv, and the State Department suspended all diplomatic services in Lviv just before the Russian invasion began.
In recent days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged more countries to restore their diplomatic presence in the country.
“We need your support, even at the level of symbols and diplomatic gestures. Please come back, everyone who is brave, please come back to our capital and continue working,” Zelensky said last week.
But given the ongoing fighting and concerns about new Russian invasions into eastern Ukraine, the Biden administration is not taking steps to open its embassy in Ukraine in the near future, while other countries have begun to do so, in this case. According to two US officials familiar with.
What other MLAs are saying: Spartz’s letter marks a public push for America to reconsider that position. A Democratic lawmaker backing the re-establishment of a diplomatic presence in Ukraine said there are questions from the region as to why Americans are not there as other countries have moved back.
However, another Democrat said the State Department has good reason to be cautious about returning Americans to Ukrainian soil. While Russia has resumed its war efforts in the eastern and southern regions of the country, Russia’s air power could still attack Kyiv and Lviv. While any civilian death from NATO countries in Ukraine could threaten to escalate conflict with Russia, there are vastly different implications for the United States, with the lawmaker saying: “It’s a very different security situation and incremental currency.” “
Ukrainian officials and activists are watching other countries reopen their embassies and are frustrated with the temporary US currency. The European Union announced last week that it would resume its diplomatic presence in the Ukrainian capital.
Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, is also urging the US to “immediately” reopen its embassy. Kaleniuk believes that the embassy is symbolically important but also important because it enables visits to Congress and incoming shipments to happen more easily.
“What I learned is the reason why politicians are not coming is because there is no embassy. That’s why the embassy can’t provide them with assistance in coming,” Kaleniuk said after spending last week in a Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers. “The lack of a US embassy in Ukraine also has a negative impact on the possibility of purchasing advanced weapons. The contractors who are building these advanced weapons see that Ukraine does not even have an embassy and they are on contract with Ukraine. are not able to work.
Meanwhile, US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that Congress may need to approve additional funding for military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia, indicating early support for more aid. That’s what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also said would be needed.
McConnell said, “The rate at which we are sending them arms and ammunition may require us to spend a further supplement to continue to backfill” Ukrainians and “backfill” weapons to other NATO countries that have sent Ukraine to Ukraine. Have sent their stores. An appearance at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in Louisville.
Last month, Congress approved about $14 billion in aid to Ukraine. McConnell said the Ukrainians could win the war if supported properly.
“It has been my attitude from the very beginning that our aim should be to win. To win. And I think the administration is reluctant to say that the goal is to win,” he said. “I think our definition of winning is what Zelensky says. In other words, as long as they want to fight, we should give them everything we can to win the fight.”