WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a congressional senate hearing, the focus was supposed to be on the State Department’s budget request, but this meeting turned into a discussion about the war in Ukraine. The  Secretary of State is looking to provide additional resources for Ukraine.  

“As we took the train across the border and rode westward into Ukraine, we saw mile after mile of Ukrainian countryside, territory that just a couple of months ago the Russian government thought that it could seize in a matter of weeks,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on his recent trip to Ukraine. “We saw the signs of a vibrant city coming back to life. People eating outside sitting on benches, strolling. It was right in front of us. The Ukrainians have won the battle for Kyiv.”  

Blinken’s trip to Ukraine is considered a risky move given that the Russians are still attacking Ukraine. Blinken told U.S. Senators this recent trip reassured him that American assistance and help from other allies have contributed to Ukraine's success. He adds that now is not the time to slow down any help for Ukraine, especially with the U.S. trying to re-establish our embassy over there.  

“We are sending diplomats back to Ukraine this week and they will begin to assess how we can most effectively and securely reopen the embassy in Kyiv,” added Blinken. “I anticipate we will be in L’viv and then Kyiv subject to the President’s final decision on that but we want to have our embassy reopened and we’re working to do that.”  

The secretary defended that the U.S. has done a lot to help Ukraine, especially sending hundreds of millions to them before the invasion began. Even with this help, he told Senators it is likely that the State Department will make another financial request for congress to send more money to Ukraine but Blinken didn’t specify as to how much that request would be.  

The State Department is looking for a three percent budget increase, raising that total to about 60-billion for next year. The State Department says that the money is needed for diplomacy and development tools for advancing U.S. interests at home and abroad.