WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(ENEWSPF)–February 26, 2015. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Senate Ukraine Caucus met today with members from the Ukrainian Parliament to discuss increased military aid to Ukraine. Durbin is co-chairman of the Ukraine Caucus along with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), James Inhofe (R-OK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) also attended today’s meeting.
“Ukraine is at a pivotal moment in its history. Faced with unprecedented aggression from Russia, the United States should to be doing more to ensure Ukraine can defend its borders,” Durbin said. “At today’s meeting, members of the Ukrainian Parliament made it clear that increased military aid, defensive weapons, and economic support will help them in their struggle for freedom and sovereignty. The United States must act swiftly to provide this assistance and the Senate Ukraine Caucus stands ready to help.”
On Tuesday, Durbin urged Secretary of State John Kerry to send increased military aid to Ukraine at a State and Foreign Operations Appropriations hearing on the FY2016 Department of State budget. Durbin argued that increasing military aid is necessary for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression and protect territorial sovereignty.
Last week, Durbin and a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to Secretary Kerry requesting that he immediately tighten international sanctions against Russia and provide defensive weapons to Ukraine. The Senators also called on Secretary Kerry to redouble efforts to ensure Ukraine’s long term political and economic future in the face of Russian destabilization. A copy of that letter is available HERE.
On Sunday, Durbin – who co-chairs the recently created Senate Ukraine Caucus – spoke at a rally in Chicago to demonstrate solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine in opposing Russia’s military invasion and supporting U.S. military assistance for Ukraine. The event was held on the anniversary of the Maidan violence that claimed more than 100 lives in Kiev. The event brought together the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America’s Illinois Division, major organizations within Chicago’s Ukrainian community and representatives of other ethnic communities in Chicagoland.