Shaheen, Portman Reaffirm Bipartisan Support for Ukraine, Lead New Resolution in Support of Democratic Partners

February 17, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, led a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senate Foreign Relations Chairman and Ranking Member, Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID), as well as Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), on a new, bipartisan resolution in support of Ukraine amid increased Russian aggression. 

The Senators’ resolution is a renewed bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of the United States’ Ukrainian partners in response to Vladimir Putin’s escalating aggression. 

“The United States has never wavered in support of Ukraine in response to Putin’s campaign of violence and aggression. As the threat of a Russian invasion looms over Ukraine, we are united on the urgent need to provide military assistance so Ukraine can defend itself and closely align with our European allies to ready punitive measures if Putin steps one foot into Ukrainian territory,” said Senator Shaheen. “This is the greatest national security threat that the United States, Europe and our global community have experienced from Russia since the end of the Cold War, so our response must be carefully calculated. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘how’ we will respond to Putin, and there continues to be a bipartisan desire to do so. Our resolution reaffirms that commitment and is a direct message to both Ukraine and Russia about where the United States stands.” 

“This Congress is united in its support of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty.  This resolution allows us to speak with one voice in denouncing the buildup of Russian troops at Ukraine’s border and reaffirming our bipartisan commitment to impose significant costs on Russia in the event they choose to invade our ally. I hope this will send a strong signal to Russia the world is united behind Ukrainian independence and freedom,” said Senator Portman.

“As this Resolution makes clear, if Putin decides to further invade Ukraine, there is very little daylight between Republicans and Democrats. We support tough sanctions and agree with President Biden that Putin will be held accountable if he re-invades. Building on yesterday’s joint bipartisan statement from the Senate’s national security leaders, this effort continues to recognize the importance of showing a united front against Putin at this critical moment,” said Chairman Menendez. “Whatever decision Russia makes, what is clear now is Putin has failed in his goal of dividing the West. The resounding response to his military buildup has shown that NATO is stronger, the U.S. and Europe alliance is stronger, and together we will continue to stand up to unjustified bullying of sovereign nations.” 

“In its 30th year of independence, Ukraine is facing the possibility of yet another invasion from its neighbor, Russia,” said Senator Risch. “This resolution makes clear that such actions are unacceptable and will be met with a clear and unified response from the United States. On this Day of Unity, we stand with the Ukrainian people.”

“This bipartisan measure is clear in its support for the Ukrainian people to peacefully choose their own path, as well as the severe economic and diplomatic consequences for Putin if he further destabilizes European security,” said Senator Durbin.  “The Russian people deserve better than Putin’s warped and selfish pursuit of Soviet nostalgia—and his own political survival—at their expense.”   

“Vladimir Putin is testing the waters in Ukraine to see how much he can get away with, and the rest of the world is watching,” said Senator Cornyn. “We must ensure Ukrainian forces have the resources and support they need to deter – and defend – against Russian invasion, and I hope the Senate will take action soon to reaffirm America’s position as the lead defender of global peace and security.” 

Text of the resolution is available here.

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