A US delegation of lawmakers arrived in Paris for this week’s air show stressing to European allies that the USA will stand firm in supporting Ukraine’s defence against Russia, including with additional financial aid.
Lawmakers also made clear that they view the USA’s support for Ukraine as reflecting its broader commitment to counter potential Chinese aggression against Taiwan.
“We are in it for the long haul,” Democratic US Senator Joe Manchin says of the USA’s support for Ukraine. “Being the Super Power of the world, we are going to defend and support freedom [and] democracies anywhere in the world.”
Manchin was among more than a dozen US Senate and House lawmakers at the show on 19 June – a group that Aerospace Industries Association chief executive Eric Fanning calls the largest-ever Congressional contingent to attend.
“What we see here is an opportunity for us to showcase the role that the United States is capable of playing, to demonstrate the… projection that we’re able to provide a dangerous world,” adds Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran. “This is a particularly important time for the United States to demonstrate its support for the defence aspect of the show.”
Moran says the US delegation is taking that message directly to European leaders, noting that lawmakers plan to meet on 20 June with French president Emmanuel Macron. “A role that we are playing is reassuring… Europeans that the United States is in Ukraine – or assisting Ukraine – for the long term.”
The administration of President Joe Biden has already provided tens of billions of dollars in support to Ukraine, including by supplying the country with advanced surface-to-air missiles and other military equipment.
Some US lawmakers say they support keeping those supply lines flowing with additional aid provided via future supplemental spending bills.
They also describe the USA’s commitment to Ukraine as reflecting broader US determination to counter future aggression elsewhere, including by China against Taiwan.
“I think this is an opportunity for us… to reiterate that the world has a lot at stake in what happens in the Taiwan Strait,” says Moran. “What the West does in Ukraine is one of the greatest determining factors in how the rest of the world responds to the challenge in China.”