WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Sen. Jack Reed is applauding Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his “brave and courageous” efforts to repel the ongoing Russian invasion.
Reed visited Ukraine last week, where he met with Zelenskyy to discuss the ongoing war and its impacts on global security.
Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the goal of the trip was to ensure Zelenskyy knew that he and the United States are committed to supporting Ukraine throughout this fight.
“You could tell there’s a war going on,” Reed said of Kyiv, the nation’s capital. “There is a war going on there, but Ukraine [has] all of the outward signs of people that are committed to carrying on their lives.”
While meeting with Ukrainian defense and diplomatic leaders, Reed said President Joe Biden made a timely announcement: the United States is providing the wartorn country with 50 Bradley fighting vehicles.
“I applaud the president for releasing this latest of tranche of resources, but we have to move decisively and let the Ukrainians keep up this momentum,” Reed said.
Republicans have long been critical of the country’s contributions to Ukraine. Last month, Congress approved a $45 billion aid package for the country.
When asked whether spending will change with the House now under the leadership of the GOP, Reed said, “it shouldn’t happen.”
“What that would be doing is undercutting the brave people that are fighting an illegal and immoral war sponsored by [Vladmir] Putin,” Reed said. “We will be giving him a gift that he doesn’t deserve.”
“The reality is that the Ukrainians are fighting our war,” he said. “If they succumb, the chances of Putin beginning to think that Poland, or parts of Poland, are really his [are higher] … which would plunge NATO, and the United States, into a direct conflict.”
That direct conflict, Reed said, would be “catastrophic.”
Reed said this was his second trip to Ukraine, with the first dating back to 2015.