Mike Pence meets with Zelensky in Ukraine

Pence’s support from Ukraine diverges from other Republicans

Eric Garcia
Thursday 29 June 2023 17:30 BST
Putin 'very afraid' and 'probably hiding himself' after Wagner mutiny, Zelensky says

Former vice president Mike Pence visited with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a sign of solidarity with Ukraine even as many Republicans sour on support for Ukraine, CNN reported.

The House of Representatives impeached Mr Pence’s former running-mate, former president Donald Trump, after Mr Trump asked Mr Zelensky, then newly elected to the presidency, to investigate Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election in exchange for sending military aid to Ukraine. The Senate later acquitted Mr Trump.

But Mr Pence visited three places in the nation as it continues to face an assault from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The former vice president met with locals and laid a wreath at memorials for people killed in the war against Russia.

“The American people are praying with you, supporting you in Ukraine,” he reportedly told families in Irpin.

Samaritan’s Purse – a nonprofit run by Franklin Graham, the son of noted evangelist Billy Graham – organised the visit to Ukraine. Samaritan’s Purse also organised his visit to Ukraine in March 2022 shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Pence’s visit to Ukraine comes as the Republican Party increasingly opposes aiding the embattled nation. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said last year that the House GOP would not offer a “blank check”, and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene has proposed legislation to audit all aid that went to Ukraine. In addition, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said in a questionnaire to now-former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that supporting Ukraine was not in the United States’ interest and called the war a “territorial dispute.”

But earlier this year, Mr Pence gave a speech at American University stressing the need to support Ukraine.

“Make no mistake: This is not America’s war,” he said. “But if we falter in our commitment to providing the support to the people of Ukraine to defend their freedom, our sons and daughters may soon be called upon to defend ours.”

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