Senators heading to Poland, India, Germany to rally Ukraine support

A group of Democratic lawmakers including four senators and a House member will travel to Poland, India, Germany and the United Arab Emirates on a nine-day trip to rally support for Ukraine.

sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) announced the trip in an email Sunday evening, but said additional details on the schedule could not be released due to security concerns.

Other senators making the trip with Kelly are Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.), Cory Booker (DN.J.), Ed Markey (D-MA), along with Rep. Mondaire Jones (DN.Y.), the lone House member.

“This strong congressional delegation will have the opportunity to meet with US military leadership and troops in Poland in order to learn how the US can continue to support Ukraine and our NATO allies against Russia’s unprovoked and unwarranted war,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement .

“In addition, the delegation will meet with a number of key foreign leaders in Poland, UAE, India, Nepal, and Germany to strengthen ties during this period of heightened global tension.”

Apart from Poland, the major countries on the itinerary have been notable for their lack of cooperation with US-led efforts to isolate Russia, as its war on Ukraine stretched past 50 days.

India, the world’s largest democracy, has continued to import Russian oil and has remained neutral in United Nations votes on human rights atrocities carried out in Ukraine.

The oil-rich Gulf countries have resisted calls by the US to increase their oil supply in the global market to bring down prices that have risen amid efforts to sanction and curb Russian oil and gas exports.

And Germany has voiced opposition to joining calls by the US and other countries in Europe to further squeeze Russia’s war chest by cutting off global Russian oil and gas imports, which bring in about $1 billion per day.

Germany continues to rely on Russian natural gas delivery, through a Nord Stream 1 pipeline, and its top officials have warned that turning off the spigot is not an option for Europe’s most populated country.

Poland, due to its geographic proximity to Ukraine, has been a key part of the international response, working with nonprofits to house and feed the vast majority of the millions of refugees who have fled Ukraine since the start of the war.

During a trip to Poland last month, President Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t remain in power, a comment the White House quickly tried to walk back.

He also committed to taking in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and touted an agreement with EU leaders to start weaning the region off Russian energy.

Nepal is among the few Asian countries that have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, deviating from its policy of international neutrality.

The group of lawmakers is the latest of multiple US congressional delegations who have traveled mostly to Europe since the start of the war.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) visited Poland earlier this month.

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