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BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS INTRODUCE RESOLUTION CONDEMNING RUSSIAN AGGRESSION IN UKRAINE

March 5, 2014

Washington, D.C. – A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), introduced a resolution today condemning the Russian military siege of Crimea, calling for a withdrawal of those troops, and a negotiated settlement to any concerns regarding the Crimea.  It also urges the administration and European Union to use a range of economic and diplomatic leverage against Russia should it fail to abide by these basic economic norms. 

“Russia must immediately pull back its military and allow a diplomatic solution to advance in Crimea – one that respects Ukrainian sovereignty but also the unique history and makeup of the region,” Senator Durbin said. “There is no reason that the situation in Ukraine needs to be manipulated into a new battle between the East and West.  Ukraine can have stronger economic and political ties with the West while also maintaining strong economic and cultural ties with Russia. These decisions are up to the Ukrainian people, but none of this should be decided by the barrel of a Russian gun.”

“Russia has a clear track record of reckless disregard for its international obligations,” Senator Wicker (R-MS) said. “President Putin’s armed aggression against Ukraine just days after the Sochi Olympics, and its invasion of Georgia in 2008, demonstrate a blatant defiance and disdain for the international community. Failure on the part of the United States and our allies to act quickly and decisively will only embolden Putin’s aggression and put Ukraine’s sovereignty at further risk.”

“Russia must immediately withdraw its military from Ukraine and adhere to the core principles of international law,” said Senator Shaheen (D-NH). “I am committed to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to a peaceful political transition that ultimately serves the best interests of the Ukrainian people.”

"As this resolution states very clearly, Russia should withdraw its soldiers and refrain from further violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and international law.   I remain steadfast in working with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to support Ukraine and to discourage Russia from further undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region is a blatant affront to international norms and agreements that, if not reversed, demands a forceful economic and diplomatic response,” said Senator Kaine (D-VA). “I’m pleased to join my Senate colleagues in condemning Russia’s actions and urge the administration to continue pursuing all available economic and political levers to punish this behavior. Ukraine deserves a future where its citizens are free to exercise their sovereign, democratic right to pursue domestic and foreign policies without outside interference.”

“As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have been following this issue closely and am deeply concerned with Russia’s actions, which are in clear violation of existing treaties and agreements,” Senator Warner (D-VA)said.  “We need to work closely with our NATO allies to demonstrate that Russian military aggression will not be tolerated in Ukraine.  All Americans and our allies need to stand together so that we can resolve this crisis.”

“Russia must respect Ukraine's sovereignty and immediately withdraw its troops from Ukrainian soil. Ukraine's people have a right to decide their own future without interference from Russia. The United States and international community should utilize all diplomatic and economic options to address this act of aggression and secure the rights and borders of Ukraine,” Senator Brown (D-OH) said.

"The United States should, whenever possible, stand with those who peacefully pursue freedom and democracy," Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) said. "With more than 50,000 Ukrainian-American families in Chicago, this is an issue that is personal to Illinois. Congress should continue to follow this closely while working to ensure a peaceful resolution to this conflict."

Senators Murphy (D-CT), Barrasso (R-WY), Cardin (D-MD), Inhofe (R-OK) and Coons (D-DE) are also cosponsors of the resolution – available here. 

 

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