Zelensky called for recognition of Russia as 'terror state' in meeting with US senators

McConnell was accompanied by Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas in an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Saturday.

 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomes US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) before a meeting, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 14, 2022. (photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomes US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) before a meeting, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 14, 2022.
(photo credit: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for official recognition of Russia as a "terrorist state" during a meeting with US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP senators on Saturday, according to a CNN report.

Other topics in the meeting included American support for Ukraine and strengthing sanctions on Russia. 

McConnell, the top Republican in the US Senate, paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv on Saturday with other Republican senators and met Zelensky for talks.

McConnell is pressing Republican Senator Rand Paul to end his opposition to a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which has overwhelming support from both major parties.

Zelensky hailed what he said was a powerful signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine.

US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about former US president Donald Trump, accusing him of dereliction of duty, immediately after the US Senate voted to acquit Trump by a vote of 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, short of the 2/3s majority needed to convict, during the fifth day of th (credit: US SENATE TV/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks about former US president Donald Trump, accusing him of dereliction of duty, immediately after the US Senate voted to acquit Trump by a vote of 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, short of the 2/3s majority needed to convict, during the fifth day of th (credit: US SENATE TV/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

"Thank you for your leadership in helping us fight not only for our country but also for democratic values and freedoms. We really appreciate it," he said in a statement.

McConnell was accompanied by Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas.

Dozens of foreign politicians and celebrities have visited Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February to show their support. President Joe Biden's wife, college professor Jill Biden, made an unannounced trip to Kyiv last Sunday.

Possible food crisis?

Zelensky also said on Telegram that other countries can prevent global famine by supporting Ukraine.  He said that many countries are realizing that by blocking the Black Sea, which is known as Ukraine's gate for international trade and food export, Russia puts many countries at risk of a "global food crisis."

Zelensky said that increasing the weapons supply to fight Russian forces would prevent this outcome.