The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on July 6.
Earlier today, President Donald Trump was welcomed by throngs of Poles in Warsaw’s Krasiński Square, where he stood at the foot of the Memorial to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and urged Russia “to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere.” Following his re-commitment that the United States “stands firmly behind Article 5,” it was also announced that an agreement was reached to sell eight Patriot missile defense systems to Poland by the end of the year, in a memorandum signed on Wednesday night.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, welcomes today’s acknowledgement by President Trump that Russia has acted against Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2017, there have been nearly 2,000 recorded attacks by Russian forces across the “ceasefire” line in Ukraine, with dozens of civilians killed this year alone. Since January 2017, Russian forces have also resumed firing heavy artillery onto Ukrainian positions and deployed portable rocket launchers among its invading forces.
As a reminder to all, the Russian Federation’s outright invasion of eastern Ukraine, illegal occupation of Crimea, the neo-colonialist policy of expanding a “Russkyi Mir” (Russian World) – not to mention the multi-vectored political, economic, cyber, cultural and religious aggression and encroachment directed against Ukraine’s sovereignty – remain a direct security threat to the Euro-Atlantic community.
Tomorrow, President Trump will meet with President Putin in Hamburg, Germany, where, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, “Ukraine and Syria will be on the agenda.” The Ukrainian American community will look to our commander-in-chief to not only live up to the United States’ public and binding security guarantees to Ukraine, but clearly state that the people of Ukraine will make up their own minds with regards to national policy, including economic and energy decisions, as well as closer integration with Europe and NATO. A strategic ally of the United States, Ukraine stands alone as the only non-NATO partner to have contributed actively to all NATO-led operations and missions for the past 20 years.
It should also be made clear that the United States will maintain sanctions on Russia and those companies that support Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine until all covert and overt Russian forces and equipment are removed from Ukraine, including a withdrawal of any territorial claim over the Crimean peninsula. The territorial integrity of Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders is non-negotiable.
Furthermore, as we welcome the further sharing of defensive armaments with Poland, we once again call on the United States to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons, equipment and training, as already authorized by Congress, in order to counter Russia’s offenses and re-establish Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Europe’s pro-democratic East – including the countries of Ukraine, Poland, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia – have stepped up to repay the faith invested in them by modernizing their armed forces at an unprecedented pace. Supporting the international norms of respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty will further reward the United States with a 21st century alliance generating greater peace and prosperity.