Shaheen-Led Delegation Focused on Syrian Refugee Crisis & Ukrainian Stability Returns From Europe
**In Greece and Germany, senators get an up-close look at how these countries are handling the influx of refugees**
**In Ukraine, senators have in-depth discussions with government leaders regarding the country’s security and stability**
(Washington, DC) –A Senate delegation led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, returns to the United States today after receiving a series of in-country briefings on the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and efforts to maintain security and stability in Ukraine.
Joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Shaheen met with government officials in Greece and Germany who are charged with responding to the largest refugee crisis Europe has experienced since the end of World War II. In both countries, the senators had the opportunity to visit reception centers where newly-arrived refugees are processed and provided basic services. While on the island of Lesvos, Greece, the delegation got to see one of the main entry points for Syrian refugees into Europe and were provided one of several opportunities to meet with refugees to hear their first-hand experiences.
“Responding to the Syrian refugee crisis presents an historic challenge for European countries that must be shared by the United States,” said Shaheen. “These meetings and site visits have underscored the breadth and depth of the humanitarian need and the mammoth task at hand for frontline nations. These conversations have reinforced for me the need for the United States to expedite its efforts to process and accept Syrian refugees, and to work more closely with our EU allies to find additional ways to alleviate the suffering.”
While in Ukraine, the delegation met with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Petro Poroshenko. The senators were briefed on the on-going aggression from Russia that threatens to destabilize the country, as well as the country’s economic situation and efforts to address corruption in Ukrainian government and institutions.
“The overarching message I received from our meetings in Ukraine is that, despite living under an ever-present threat from Russia, this is a nation that continues to stand strong,” said Shaheen. “It was an honor to personally reiterate to Ukraine’s leadership and citizens the United States’ strong support for their country as they resist Putin’s reckless aggression. I’m also very encouraged by the resolve of the Ukrainian government to unite their country and root-out corruption.”
Pictures from all three legs of the trip can be found on Facebook.
Senator Shaheen departed for Greece on Thursday, October 8th and returns from Berlin, Germany this evening.