Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Bipartisan group of senators to meet Ukrainian president this week

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) announced on Wednesday they are heading to Kyiv for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"The U.S.-Ukraine relationship is as important now as ever," the senators said in a statement. "The future of Ukraine matters to the United States and we must make sure Ukraine knows that we view them as a strategic ally." The meeting is scheduled for Friday.

Zelensky became a household name in the United States last year during President Trump's impeachment inquiry. During a July 25 phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to launch investigations into a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. This conversation triggered the impeachment probe, which also focused on Trump's decision to freeze nearly $400 million in approved military aid to Ukraine. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December, and acquitted by the Senate last week.

This won't be Johnson and Murphy's first time interacting with Zelensky. On Sept. 5, the senators met with Zelensky in Kyiv, when the military aid was still frozen. On Sept. 10, Murphy said Ukrainian officials brought up the aid during every meeting, and they did not know why it was being held up.