Shaheen Travels to Poland in Support of NATO Frontline Nations Amid Increased Russian Aggression

February 21, 2022

Shaheen is Co-Chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which she re-established in 2018 with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)

(Warsaw) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is in Warsaw, Poland today as part of a congressional delegation with U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) to discuss Russian aggression against Ukraine and the critical role that frontline NATO allies, including Poland, are playing amid the crisis in support of Ukraine, and to safeguard European security. Shaheen was previously in Germany as a participant in the Munich Security Conference.

Shaheen’s visit to Poland follows her successful bipartisan effort with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass a resolution on Friday that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of the United States’ Ukrainian partners.

“Poland is an important U.S. and NATO ally and I’m glad to be on the ground with our partners to address the urgent security crisis facing the region due to Putin’s escalating provocations. Europe’s security matters to the United States, both due to our trusted partnerships as well the implications for how Putin may continue to lash out at democracies and the West,” said Shaheen. “I’m looking forward to meeting with Polish officials to discuss the Ukraine-Russia crisis, as well as the turmoil and security threats spurred by Putin’s puppet in Belarus, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, whose gross human rights violations mirror Putin and who is volunteering Belarusian support for a Russian war in Ukraine that the Belarusian people do not want. There can be no daylight between the United States and our NATO allies on the cause for freedom, so I’m glad to reaffirm that message in Poland beside our allies.”

During her visit, Shaheen is meeting with senior government officials, including Polish President Andrzej Duda; Defense Minister Mariusz B aszczak; Marshal of the Polish Senate, Senator Tomasz Grodzki; U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; and U.S. Ambassador to Belarus, Ambassador Julie Fisher. She’ll also speak meet with members of the Polish press and meet with members from the Belarusian pro-democracy movement.

Shaheen leads efforts in support of pro-democracy movements, and has spearheaded action to combat Russian aggression. In January, Shaheen led a bipartisan congressional delegation visit to Ukraine with Senator Portman to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to its partner as it faces an increasingly belligerent Russia. Last year, Shaheen launched the bipartisan Free Belarus Caucus with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) following the Senators’ meeting with Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Last June, Senator Shaheen led a bipartisan delegation to Eastern Europe, which included stops in Ukraine as well as Lithuania, where she met with Ms. Tsikhanouskaya to discuss the Lukashenka regime’s increasing human rights abuses against political opposition. Shaheen previously questioned Tsikhanouskaya during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in Belarus. Last year, Senator Shaheen penned an op-ed in USA Today on why the West must come together to address the political situation in Belarus.