UCCA appeals to all of its members to be active participants in American political life, to help us continue the United States’ history of actively supporting and engaging with Ukraine in areas of military assistance. Thanks to the civic engagement of our community, this past week saw several important developments in Washington, D.C. that fall in line with such a commitment.
The Senate Ukraine Caucus penned a letter to President Biden requesting the Administration provide “critical material assistance to Ukraine in the short term,” as well as to provide robust defensive military and economic assistance for Ukraine in the President’s budget request. The Congressional Ukraine Caucus also released a statement “strongly condemning Russia’s illegal war in and on Ukraine” and calling for “increased sanctions and putting an end to Nord Stream 2.”
These developments follow weeks of nearly daily statements of support for Ukraine:
- Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Ukrainian Minister of Defence Andrii Taran, reaffirming unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations;
- National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with Head of Presidential Office Andriy Yermak of Ukraine, affirming “the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations”;
- President Biden spoke to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea”:
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken met in person with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels in which he reiterated publicly that “the United States stands firmly behind the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine… at a time when we’re seeing unfortunately Russia take very provocative action when it comes to Ukraine. We’re now seeing the largest concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border since 2014, and that is of deep concern not only to Ukraine, but to the United States, and indeed to many of our allies and partners.”
- Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the immediate need for Russia to cease its aggressive military buildup along Ukraine’s borders and in occupied Crimea. The Secretary and Secretary General agreed it was essential for NATO to continue delivering support for Ukraine;
- NATO ministers in Brussels addressed Russia’s military buildup in and around Ukraine. The Allies fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called on Russia to de-escalate immediately, stop a pattern of aggressive provocations, and respect its international commitments;
- President Biden addressed the nation from the White House in which he affirmed “U.S. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Finally, the United States recently imposed a range of sanctions against Russia. Critically, several segments of the sanction package include actions the UCCA had for advocated in the past – increased Crimea sanctions and preventing U.S. banks from dealing with Russian sovereign debt.
And in a letter to Congress dated April 15, the White House declared “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation.”
Earlier this year we marked seven years since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the over 13,000 deaths and over 30,000 wounded that has come as a result of this invasion. Over one and a half million Ukrainians have fled their homes, while tens of thousands remain hostages in Donbas’ Russian-occupied territories. For this reason, UCCA has renewed our call for elected leaders to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s increasing military aggression.
Please make every effort in your community and individually to contact your elected representatives in this regard, and ask to go on the record and publicly state their support of Ukraine through the following measures:
- Putting Russia on notice that harsh economic and financial sanctions would immediately be imposed in case of an attack on Ukraine.
- Suspending the development of the NordStream 2 gas pipeline.
- Building the capacity of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to preserve the country’s territorial integrity by continuing to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine and suggesting that Ukraine receive a Membership Action Plan from NATO.