August 24, 2021

Ranking Member Risch on 30th Anniv. of Ukraine’s Independence

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence:

“Congratulations to Ukraine on 30 years of independence. Ukraine has faced many difficulties over the years, but the Ukrainian people have worked hard, overcome many obstacles, and sacrificed much to ensure the success and Western orientation of their country.

“Amid today’s celebrations, however, Ukraine is still fighting for its freedom. Russia continues to occupy the Crimean Peninsula and the eastern Donbas region, and Ukrainian soldiers are killed every day defending their country. Despite the administration’s decision not to provide Ukraine with defense equipment this spring as Russia amassed more than 100,000 troops at its border, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently passed the Ukraine Security Partnership Act, a law that would further increase U.S. training and assistance to Ukraine’s military. The full Senate should vote on this important legislation as soon as we return in September.

“Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has chosen to undermine Ukraine’s security by allowing the completion of the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline. In announcing last week’s mandatory sanctions on a few minor companies and vessels involved in construction of the pipeline, the administration deliberately avoided sanctioning the companies that are essential for testing, certifying, and operating NS2.

“Despite this, Ukraine has continued to act as a true friend and partner to the United States, and we thank Ukraine for its assistance in helping to fly journalists from U.S media outlets, including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty staff, and civil society activists out of Afghanistan this past week.

“As President Zelensky visits the White House next week, the administration should take concrete actions that will reinforce the United States’ strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”