WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks June 23, 2023 on the Senate floor regarding Ukraine:

“Public reports indicate that the armed forces of Ukraine have begun their long-planned counteroffensive in earnest. Having blunted Putin’s unprovoked escalation last year, Ukraine is aiming to drive Russian forces back and out of occupied Ukrainian territory on multiple fronts.

“Reaching this point in the conflict is of course due in large measure to the heroism of the brave Ukrainians defending their homeland.

“But their success is also a credit to the tangible support of the United States, NATO allies, and friends around the globe who value the same sovereignty and territorial integrity under attack in Ukraine.

“The acute threat of Russian aggression helped wake many of our European friends from a holiday from history. Putin’s escalation drove many of our closest allies to start investing more seriously in their own defense and contribute more readily to collective security.

“This is a positive development, and a critical one as we look toward deterring aggression from China.

“At the same time, America’s support for Ukraine has done much more than sustain their defense.

“As I’ve said repeatedly, sending lethal western capabilities to the front lines has been a direct investment in America’s own security in a number of concrete ways.

“First, equipping our friends on the front lines to defend themselves is a far cheaper way – in both dollars and American lives – to degrade Russia’s ability to threaten the United States.

“Second, Ukraine’s effective defense of its territory is teaching us lessons about how to improve the defenses of partners who are threatened by China. It is no surprise that senior officials from Taiwan are so supportive of efforts to help Ukraine defeat Russia.

“Third, most of the money that’s been appropriated for Ukraine security assistance doesn’t actually go to Ukraine. It gets invested in American defense manufacturing. It funds new weapons and munitions for the U.S. armed forces to replace the older material we have provided to Ukraine.

“Let me be clear: this assistance means more jobs for American workers and newer weapons for American servicemembers.

“I know that media reports about U.S. assistance to Ukraine has been confusing. So has the Biden Administration’s messaging. Last week, for example, the Administration announced what it called a ‘new’ package of security assistance to Ukraine.

“In reality, this latest tranche of assistance is not a new appropriation. It’s just the latest in a slow and steady disbursement – perhaps too slow and steady – of assistance previously approved by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress.

“Madam President, I will have more to say as Ukraine continues to push Vladimir Putin’s forces backward. And Senate Republicans will continue our efforts to invest in America’s own national security.”

–END of McConnell ‘s statement

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