Senate Minority LeaderMitch McConnell led a delegation of Republican senators to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, making them the latest group of lawmakers to secretly travel to the troubled country as the Senate works to pass a nearly $40 billion aid package.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes the hand of Senate Minority Leader McConnell. The photo was taken by the President of Ukraine.

President of Ukraine's Office

John Barrasso, John Cornyn, and Susan Collins were with McConnell.

Zelensky said in a statement that the visit was a powerful signal of bipartisan support and he thanked the U.S. for their strong sanctions.

Zelensky urged lawmakers to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, and he looked forward to more sanctions from the U.S.

Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal introduced a resolution this week calling for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to add Russia to the list.

Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria are all state sponsors of terrorism.

McConnell's delegation is the latest group of lawmakers to visit Ukraine. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the country, Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Victoria Spartz traveled to Ukraine. On Mother's Day, First Lady Olena Zelenska was surprised by a visit from First Lady of Biden.

Big Number

$39.8 billion is the total amount of money. The amount of aid to Ukraine is included in the House bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will act on the aid package as soon as possible.

Helping Ukraine is more than just philanthropy. McConnell said in a statement that Russia's naked aggression does not succeed and carries significant costs.


President Joe Biden visited Poland in March, coming within 60 miles of the border with Ukraine, and he has repeatedly said he wants to make a trip to the country to show his support. Jen Psaki said in April that there were no plans to send the president to Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen traveled to Kyiv.

Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Mother's Day.

Nancy Pelosi met with Zelensky during a secret congressional visit.