February 05, 2015

Corker Seeks President Obama’s Full Implementation of Ukraine Freedom Support Act

Law Requires Report to Congress by February 15 on U.S. Plans for Providing Defensive Weapons to Ukraine

WASHINGTON – With Russia refusing to end its direct support of an escalating rebel offensive in Eastern Ukraine, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote President Barack Obama today urging the administration to fully implement the Ukraine Freedom Support Act.

“We cannot allow Ukraine to fail. The United States and our allies must be more invested in Ukraine’s success than Russia is in its failure,” wrote Corker in his letter to the president. “To firmly demonstrate this commitment to Ukraine’s success, I respectfully urge you to implement the Ukraine Freedom Support Act fully and in good faith.”

The act, coauthored by Corker and signed into law in December, requires the administration to submit a report to Congress by February 15 that details plans for U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, including defensive weapons. 

“We hope the administration will submit a report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later this month that clearly states your readiness to supply appropriate lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government and provides details of the specific weapons to be delivered,” the letter also states.

Full text of the letter is included and online here.

Dear President Obama,

On December 13, 2014, Congress unanimously passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which you signed into law five days later. The law requires the administration to impose sanctions by January 31, 2015, against Russian defense entities involved in the destabilization of Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Syria. With the 45-day deadline for enacting sanctions against Russian defense entities now having passed, you are obligated to provide Congress with a national security interests’ determination if you intend to waive these sanctions.

The law also includes an authorization for the provision of appropriate lethal military assistance to the Ukrainian government and a requirement that the administration submit a report to Congress by February 15, 2015, identifying the defense articles, services, and training to be provided to Ukraine. We hope the administration will submit a report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later this month that clearly states your readiness to supply appropriate lethal assistance to the Ukrainian government and provides details of the specific weapons to be delivered. This is critically important given the recent attacks by Russian-backed rebels against the strategic port city of Mariupol, an increasing Russian troop presence in the Donbass region, and the Putin regime’s intensified delivery of heavy weapons to rebels in eastern Ukraine.

We cannot allow Ukraine to fail. The United States and our allies must be more invested in Ukraine’s success than Russia is in its failure. Otherwise, the expansion and consolidation of the European integration project, which remains the most significant American foreign policy triumph over the last 70 years, will come to a halt along with our ability to help generate a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

To firmly demonstrate this commitment to Ukraine’s success, I respectfully urge you to implement the Ukraine Freedom Support Act fully and in good faith.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker
Chairman

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