Daines wants U.S. diplomats back in Ukraine, and more heavy artillery

Having toured war-torn Ukraine last week, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said Monday he will write President Joe Biden requesting the return of U.S. diplomats to the country. He will also lobby for faster delivery of lethal aid and support for war crimes investigations.

Speaking with Montana media, Daines said it was important that the U.S government have a presence in Ukraine and that Ukrainians receive the weaponry requested, specifically heavy artillery. The Montana Republican became one of only two members of Congress to tour Ukraine last week, after scrapping a visit to Eastern European NATO countries for the hastily planned trip to Kyiv and Bucha.

“It’s an important, strong message to have a diplomatic presence in Ukraine, as we’re going through the war and working on humanitarian and lethal aid with the Ukrainian government. Second is delivering robust legal aid faster,” Daines said.

The senator was critical of the $800 million in military aid approved by Biden last week, which Daines said didn’t include enough heavy artillery.

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“That’s the number-one thing, heavy artillery. They asked for heavy artillery, heavy armor, air defense systems, military aircraft, anti-ship missiles and light vehicles.

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