O'Halleran Statement on Congressional Delegation to Eastern Europe

October 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Representatives Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ-01), John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04), John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R PR-AL) released the following statement about their visit to Ukraine:

"We came to Ukraine to show our strong bipartisan support and to hear how we can help advance the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.  We are encouraged by the new government’s energy and commitment to democracy, defeating corruption, and adopting reforms, even while battling Russian aggression.  Ukrainian officials explained to us how freedom and sovereignty were ingrained in Ukraine’s history, and we have no doubt it will be part of the country’s future.

"We saw how the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative is supporting Ukrainian troops and bolstering Ukrainian security and defense.  U.S. programs have contributed Javelins, night vision devices, communications equipment, Humvees, and more, all of which are vital to Ukraine defending its sovereignty and deterring further Russian aggression.  During our visit to Yavoriv, we observed training and cooperation that promotes NATO interoperability.  We will continue our close security cooperation.

"Ukraine is a country rich in resources and technology.  We see significant potential for energy and commercial cooperation and will encourage U.S. businesses to explore these opportunities with Ukrainian partners when we return home.

"Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russian aggression and achieve peace are impressive, even with approximately 14,000 deaths and hundreds of prisoners held. We assured our Ukrainian counterparts that sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia reverses the steps that prompted the sanctions initially.  This includes removing the Russia-led troops and illegal armed formations from the Donbas and creating the security conditions necessary for free and fair elections.  Crimea is Ukraine.  The Donbas is Ukraine.  All of Ukraine’s sovereignty must be restored and it must regain control of its international border.  We are committed to returning to the United States and continuing to champion the cause of unwavering support for Ukraine. We commend President Zelenskyy for numerous positive steps since taking office, and look forward to our next visit to Ukraine."