Shaheen, Portman Lead Bipartisan Ukraine Caucus Leadership Letter Urging Trump Admin to Release Obligated Military Security Assistance for Ukraine

September 03, 2019

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, sent a letter today with Ukraine Caucus co-chairs Rob Portman (R-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) to the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, urging the Trump administration to release obligated military security assistance for Ukraine. The Senators’ letter comes in response to media reports that the administration is holding up the funds, which were approved by Congress on a bipartisan basis.

The Senators wrote in part, “This body has long advocated for increasing the military capacity and capabilities of Ukraine—a fledgling democracy that is pro-West and pro-United States, and since 2014 has been under increased military, political and economic pressure from Russia. The funds designated for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative are vital to the long term viability of the Ukrainian military.  It has helped Ukraine develop the independent military capabilities and skills necessary to fend off the Kremlin’s continued onslaughts within its territory.”

The Senators underscored the bipartisan efforts in the Senate that went into providing the funding for a security assistance program for Ukraine, and urged OMB to direct the Department of Defense to obligate the funds immediately.

Full text of the letter can be read here and below.

 

September 3, 2019

 

 

 

 

Mick Mulvaney

Director

Office of Management and Budget

725 17th Street N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20007

Dear Director Mulvaney:

As members of the bi-partisan Ukraine Caucus we write to express our deep concerns of reports that the Administration is considering not obligating the Ukraine Security Initiative funds for 2019.

This body has long advocated for increasing the military capacity and capabilities of Ukraine—a fledgling democracy that is pro-West and pro-United States, and since 2014 has been under increased military, political and economic pressure from Russia.

The funds designated for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative are vital to the long term viability of the Ukrainian military.  It has helped Ukraine develop the independent military capabilities and skills necessary to fend off the Kremlin’s continued onslaughts within its territory. In fact, Ukraine continues to fight daily on its eastern border against Russia-backed separatists in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, and over 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in this war.  U.S.-funded security assistance has already helped turn the tide in this conflict, and it is necessary to ensure the protection of the sovereign territory of this young country, going forward. This is not only critical from a security perspective, but it is the only way for Ukrainians to continue their progress toward reforming and defending their country’s democratic institutions. In this way, we are helping Ukraine to one day become a net assistance provider, and not just a recipient.

We have worked hard in a bi-partisan manner in the Senate to provide funding for a security assistance program for Ukraine that is effective, transparent and fiscally responsible.  This funding is crucial to the long term stability of Ukraine and has the continued backing and approval of the U.S. Congress which appropriated these funds. We strongly urge you to direct the Department of Defense to obligate these funds immediately.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,