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Menendez Statement in Advance of Crimean Platform Summit, 30th Anniversary of Ukrainian Independence

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in honor of the upcoming inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform (August 23) and in celebration the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian independence (August 24):

“As the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform approaches, I reaffirm my strong support for the Ukrainian people in rejecting the Russian government’s ongoing and illegal occupation of Crimea. Not only have the Kremlin’s malign actions undermined Ukrainian sovereignty, but they also have threatened the wellbeing of the Crimean Tatar community and the broader Crimean people, who have suffered heinous human rights abuses – including torture and arbitrary arrests – at the hands of Russian forces. We must continue to condemn egregious human rights violations in the region, and work closely with our partners at the upcoming summit to push back against attempted annexation of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. The United States cannot stand by as the Kremlin imperils peace and security across Eastern Europe.

“I also extend my warmest wishes to the people of Ukraine as they commemorate 30 years of independence, and am honored to join in the festivities taking place in Ukraine, New Jersey, and around the world that celebrate Ukrainians’ immense global contributions, rich heritage and cultural legacy, and courage in the face of Russian aggression. I look forward to building upon our countries’ deep bond, rooted in our shared values and security interests, and remain committed to securing a free and democratic future for the people of Ukraine.”