April 23, 2014

Corker: Ukraine Success Critical for U.S., European Allies

Urges U.S. to Impose More Forceful Sanctions on Russia

Kyiv, UKRAINE – Following a press conference today at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center in Kyiv, Ukraine, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the statement below urging the U.S. to impose more forceful sanctions on Russia. Corker also stressed the importance of the Ukraine elections occurring without delay on May 25, 2014:

“I am very impressed with the commitment of the leaders I met today in Ukraine, the prime minister, the president, and all of the officials working to create better lives for the many Ukrainians who have risked their lives and sacrificed greatly. It is critical that the scheduled May 25th election occur, that it be fair and free, and I know that is a priority of this government and some of the leading candidates that I met with today.

“The greatest immediate threat to the people of Ukraine realizing a better future is the external threat of Russia. I am very concerned that on our current path, Russia wants Ukraine to fail more than the West wants it to succeed, and that is a dynamic we must change. When I return to Washington, I will continue urging the Obama administration to push back on Russia in a much more forceful way by imposing sanctions against portions of the banking and energy sectors, including Gazprom, to deter further Russia aggression.

“The stakes are very high. This situation is not just about Ukraine; it's also about other vulnerable places like Moldova, and ultimately – if not addressed – other countries in Europe and the former Soviet Union. It is crucial that we act now to prevent Russia's perverse actions from gaining momentum and affecting other countries in the region.”

Senator Corker is on a four-day visit to Moldova and Ukraine to assess firsthand the situation on the ground since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and continued destabilizing involvement in eastern Ukraine and throughout the region.

Video footage of Senator Corker’s press conference at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center is available here