Sen. King recounts trip to Ukraine

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:51 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WABI) - Sen. Angus King (I - Maine) is back in the United States following a visit to Ukraine last week.

King met with reporters virtually Monday to discuss his findings from the trip, and the future relationship between the two countries.

When Senator Angus King met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Friday, he wore a sweatshirt bearing the face of Maine’s own Joshua Chamberlain. King says he sees parallels between the two men and explained the significance to Zelensky during their meeting.

“You think about courage, and determination, and grit, and visionary leadership. And as I was thinking about the trip, all those qualities remind me of Chamberlain. And I just thought it would be fun to to have Chamberlain with me in that meeting,” said King.

Then the official business began.

King is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. With all of the aid given to Ukraine, he was there in part to ensure accountability.

“I said if there’s a scandal involving the misuse of these resources, that will jeopardize any additional resources flowing. He understood that,” said King.

King’s trip coincided with an announcement from the Biden Administration of billions of dollars in new military assistance. While some Republicans criticize the level of overseas spending, King says backing down now would have dangerous consequences.

King didn’t put a timeline on U.S. involvement, but did say it should remain in place until Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces are driven out.

“This is really a fight for Western values. It’s a fight for democracy. It’s a fight for freedom. It’s a fight against authoritarianism and dictatorship, and that’s why it’s so important and it’s important to us,” said King. “It is our fight because if we don’t fight it now, it will spread, and it will become something that we can’t avoid being involved in, just as occurred at the in the late 30s at the beginning of World War II. This is the Sudetenland, 1938, where Hitler could have been stopped but wasn’t.”