U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and Senate Armed Services Committee, met with the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, and members of the Ukrainian Rada. Following the meeting, Ernst released this statement:
“The Ukrainian leaders we met with passionately pleaded for the U.S. to send more weapons ASAP. They urged us to help facilitate the transfer of the Polish MiG fighter jets—and backfill Poland with our F16s—and provide other air defense systems. The Ukrainian army is successfully pushing Russian forces back on the ground, but they need the capabilities to stop the aerial bombardment of hospitals, schools, and homes right now. In addition to defense capabilities, the Ukrainians also urged the U.S. to further sanction Russia—specifically their financial institutions—to cut off funding for Putin’s army. Ukraine has the will to win the war; they just need the means,” said Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.
Ernst spearheaded a bipartisan group of 25 senators in requesting answers from President Biden’s national security advisor (NSA), Jake Sullivan, on the speed, specifics, and supply of lethal aid provided to Ukraine. This followed Ernst’s recent bipartisan Congressional delegation or CODEL visit to Poland and Germany.
Ernst recently led 41 of her colleagues in urging the president to take immediate action to provide Ukraine with urgently needed airpower and lethal aid to bolster their defense capabilities against Russia. In addition, Ernst supported a resolution urging the Biden administration to facilitate the transfer of aircraft, such as MiG-29s, and air defense systems to Ukraine.