Rand Paul Gets Smoked By Ukraine Foreign Minister For Blocking Aid

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On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) objected to the swift passage of $40 billion worth of additional assistance for Ukraine, stopping the package from proceeding (for now), although it’s still set to soon pass — after the aid could have already been approved if not for Paul’s stunt. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Paul out after these developments unfolded, pointing out how the Kentucky Republican was delaying something that’s set to assist with saving Ukrainians’ lives.

“We could have already started using the new U.S. assistance package to more effectively save lives of Ukrainians who defend the democratic world,” Kuleba said on Twitter. “@POTUS, @SecBlinken, @SenateGOP, @SenateDems and American people were in strong support, and @RandPaul delayed so much needed support.” The new assistance would significantly add to what the U.S. has already provided as Russian leader Vladimir Putin continues his aggression. Senate leaders including Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sought the passage in the Senate of the new aid for Ukraine by unanimous consent, but Paul wants the underlying bill text changed to create the position of an inspector general overseeing the U.S. assistance for Ukraine. Schumer and McConnell presented the option of holding a vote on Paul’s proposal in the form of an amendment, but the obstructionist Kentucky Republican wants it added to the bill text itself.

The Senate doesn’t appear set to actually approve Paul’s proposal, although him raising the objection forces a longer procedural process for approving the urgent aid. “The package is ready to go… The vast majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want it. There’s now only one thing holding us back. The junior senator from Kentucky is preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add at the last minute his own changes directly into the bill. His change is strongly opposed by many members of both parties,” Schumer remarked this week. Paul said on his own time that U.S. officials “cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy,” although it’s unclear, of course, that the assistance set to be provided to Ukraine would actually “doom” the U.S. economy. Paul has previously faced scrutiny for appearing to basically directly parrot Russian propaganda regarding the war in Ukraine.

During a Senate hearing, Paul said: “You could also argue the countries [Russia] attacked were part of Russia, were part of the Soviet Union rather.” Obviously, the referenced countries, at the time of these attacks from Russia, were no longer part of the Soviet Union. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in discussion with Paul at the time, replied: “I firmly disagree with that proposition. It is the fundamental right of these countries to decide their own future and their own destiny.” As reported here, Paul subsequently repeated his original sentiment, to which Blinken retorted: “That does not give Russia the right to attack them.” Paul claimed that allegations otherwise weren’t being raised, although it doesn’t matter if he distinguishes between the lack of moral justification for the war in Ukraine and his claims about the supposed strategic rationale behind it — he’s still pushing propaganda. The conflict in Ukraine is something that Vladimir Putin chose to start — neither NATO nor history are responsible for it.