Updated Mar 14, 2023, 10:03am EDT

Ukrainian activists say Kevin McCarthy is ignoring their outreach

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

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A group of Ukrainian notables is in Washington to ask Biden administration officials and congressional staffers for more weaponry and support for their country — but there’s one meeting they say has eluded them.

During a roundtable with reporters at the German Marshall Fund’s D.C. headquarters, Olena Halushka, who sits on the board of the Ukraine-based Anti-Corruption Action Center, said that the group had extended an invitation to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy or his staff but hadn’t received a reply.

“That’s a shame because we wanted very much to thank him for all of the assistance which Ukraine is receiving from the United States and also explain what is the price of the Ukrainian victory in 2023 and why this would have the geopolitical implications on China, which definitely is the top priority for him given from his public interviews which we were hearing on Fox News just yesterday,” Halushka said on Monday.

A representative for McCarthy didn’t return a request for comment.

The House of Representatives is out on recess this week, but Halushka said the group has plans to meet with staff on House and Senate national security committees. The group — which includes activist and former member of parliament Hanna Hopko, as well as Alyona Getmanchuk and Leonid Litra of the New Europe Center in Kyiv — already sat down with members of the White House National Security Council, a Biden official confirmed.


The delegation is among a steady stream of Ukrainian officials and advocates who have come to the U.S. to lobby for continued help in their war with Russia, but comes at a moment when public support for aiding Ukraine in the U.S. shows signs of slipping, particularly among Republicans.

Halushka and her colleagues made clear that they want to answer questions from GOP lawmakers who have expressed concerns about oversight of U.S. aid dollars in Ukraine. (McCarthy has said the U.S. shouldn’t write “blank checks.”)

“We sent requests to many of the most skeptical voices, but unfortunately we didn’t receive any feedback or confirmation,” Getmanchuk said.