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Senator Menendez Statement on Ongoing Violations of Ceasefire by Pro-Russian Separatists

Menendez Calls on Administration to Implement the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014

Washington, D.C. – Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement regarding continued Russian aggression and violence in eastern Ukraine and the importance of implementing the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.

“Russian-supplied proxies in eastern Ukraine continue to cause havoc on the lives of innocent people in the region, as well as impede prospects for regional peace. Yesterday, ten innocent Ukrainian civilians were killed in an unprovoked attack by pro-Russian separatists against a passenger bus. Equally unacceptable is the Russian kidnapping and imprisonment of Ukrainian Air Force pilot, Nadiya Savchenko, who is on a hunger strike. Her immediate release is absolutely critical.

“These most recent attacks by Russian-supported forces serve as further proof that the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 which passed Congress unanimously and was signed into law in December must be fully implemented. The legislation requires the President to impose sanctions on Russia’s defense sector, and authorizes the President to impose sanctions on Russia’s energy and financial sectors.  It also authorizes increased military and non-military assistance for Ukraine. I urge the Administration to fully implement this legislation to demonstrate through verifiable action our fight against President Putin’s upending of the international order, and to create the conditions for a more democratic and peaceful Ukraine.”