MCKINNEY, Texas — North Texas Congressman Keith Self describes his recent meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as somber, because he and his country still need more equipment to keep up the fight against Russia.
He joined us from Poland to discuss the trip and how he views the war in Ukraine.
The Plano Republican says it’s difficult to predict how the situation will unfold over the next several weeks because of the speed of recent developments at the top levels of many governments.
“It’s moving fast at the strategic, geo-political level. You take Biden’s visit, Putin’s speech the very next day, Xi Jinping’s notification of his visit. At that level, this is incredibly fast,” the Congressman said on Inside Texas Politics. “So, I think that everyone realizes that this is now a proxy war between the West, led by the U.S., against China.”
Self was in Ukraine as part of a Republican Congressional delegation that included fellow Texans Jake Ellzey and Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Republican says they also discussed a bill recently introduced by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz called the “Ukraine Fatigue Resolution.”
That legislation calls for the U.S. to end military and financial aid to Ukraine and it is co-sponsored by 10 other House Republicans.
Self told us that the GOP group visiting Ukraine feels that Gaetz represents a small voice, not only in their party, but all of Congress.
“We think that’s a very small number because we see bipartisan commitment to making sure that this does not become a major European war with American participation. That’s why we need to stop this with Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
And one of the priorities, he says, should be shortening the war.
To that end, the American lawmakers discussed providing longer range firearms that would bring occupied territories and Crimea into range. But Self stressed not necessarily Russia itself.
Their trip was only 24-hours or so after President Biden walked the streets of Kyiv in broad daylight.
And Self told us their visit sends a message to Russia.
“Americans are there. And they will be there,” proclaimed the Republican.