WASHINGTON — Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was in Washington on Wednesday as he continues to ensure support from the United States in his war with Russia.
Ukraine and Russia have been at war for nearly two years with both sides launching offensives over disputed territories in eastern Ukraine. The United States has given billions of dollars in military and financial aid to Ukraine since the war began and Zelensky is once again asking the U.S. for more.
President Biden hosted Zelensky in the Oval Office for a bilateral meeting where he announced the U.S. will provide Ukraine with an additional $325 million in military aid.
“This week at the UN General Assembly I made it clear that no nation can be truly secure in the world if we don’t stand up and defend the freedom of Ukraine from the face of Russian brutality and aggression,” Biden said.
For Rep. Victoria Spartz, a native of Ukraine, the United States is getting too trigger-happy in giving Ukraine money to fight its war. She is once again calling for transparency from the White House and from Zelensky on where exactly the money the U.S. is giving them is going.
“The American people are not going to give money … if they don’t see that it goes to the right causes,” Spartz told ABC. “If Congress is not informed then the American people are not informed and when people are not informed they will start to get frustrated and it will cause problems for long-term support of Ukraine.”
Spartz said that Congress needs to start becoming more active in deciding how much money the U.S. is giving Ukraine. She said the power over spending rests with Congress and not the president, and that Congress has grown lax in using that power when it comes to sending military and financial aid to Ukraine.
She added that more oversight of where the money is going is also needed because of the history of the region the U.S. is supporting and its track record when it comes to corruption.
“We need to make sure we know exactly what’s happened with what money. Which goes to the Ukrainian military, which goes to Yemen, BlackRock, or whatever,” Spartz said. “Because we are actually dealing with countries that are dealing with corruption and oligarchs.”
Spartz stopped short of saying if Zelensky himself is corrupt. Instead, she called on Zelensky to simply be more transparent with how his country is using aid from the U.S. Spartz said the issue is not just with Ukraine. She wants the White House and Congress alike to be more transparent with the American people on just how it is using taxpayer money.
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