(Washington) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has invited Republican Kevin McCarthy, leader of the House of Representatives in the United States Congress, to visit Kyiv, as protests begin to mount among American conservatives over the aid to Ukraine.
“Mr. McCarthy needs to come here to see how we work, what’s going on, what the war has done, what people are fighting now and who they’re fighting. And only after that do you form an opinion,” Zelensky added.
He was speaking during an interview with the CNN channel, which will be broadcast on Wednesday evening, according to excerpts broadcast by television.
At the head of the new Republican majority in the House, Kevin McCarthy is as such the third most important figure in American politics after the president and the vice-president.
“I think speaker McCarthy has never visited Kyiv or Ukraine and I think that might help him,” the Ukrainian president added.
But the Republican boss of the House of Representatives, laboriously elected in January, told CNN he did not need to go to Ukraine to understand the situation.
He can, in his position, hinder President Joe Biden’s massive aid program for Ukraine to fight Russia.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a year ago, the United States has provided nearly $100 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid.
Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who preceded Mr. McCarthy to the post, traveled to Kyiv in May 2022 to show support for Ukraine.
While not opposed to US support for Ukraine, McCarthy has repeatedly said Congress should not sign “blank checks” without careful scrutiny.
A sizable minority of Republicans in Congress, however, have expressed opposition to military and financial aid to Ukraine.
“My position has always been that I will not sign a blank check. From there, I don’t have to go to Ukraine to figure out if it’s a blank check or not,” Mr. McCarthy assured CNN.