Supporting Ukraine crucial for democracy, Tester says

With a multi-billion-dollar aid package on the table for Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Washington, D.C., firming up congressional support, U.S. Sen Jon tester said it was important for democracy that America continue to help the Eastern European nation fight off a Russian invasion.

Tester was speaking ahead of a Senate vote to keep the federal government funded through December. Tucked away in the measure is a $44.9 billion aid package for Ukraine. In recent days, Tester has worked on a defense bill including the latest installment of arms for the Eastern European country. The Montana Democrat is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

“This really is a conflict we’re supporting because these people are giving their lives to fight for democracy. They want to be like us. And if we’re not willing to support them, what are we willing to support in this world?” Tester said. “I went to Eastern Europe. I went to Lithuania and Poland, in particular. The folks in these countries don’t think that if Putin is successful in Ukraine that he’s going to stop. He’s going to try to reconstruct the old Soviet Union. And by the way, I tend to agree with them.”

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