December 18, 2020

Quotable notes


I am pleased the FY 2021 NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] conference report sends the clear message that America stands with the Ukrainian people in their struggle to secure a democratic, prosperous, and independent future in the face of Russian aggression. The Ukrainian military has fought bravely against Russian aggression in the Donbas and has made tremendous strides. I have long advocated for the development of a comprehensive, multiyear security assistance plan and I am glad to see that the FY 2021 NDAA conference report directs DoD [Department of Defense] and DoS [Department of State] to look for ways to help the Ukrainian military continue their upward trajectory in proficiency. I have encouraged the Ukrainian government to sustain their efforts on eliminating corruption, and have authored past legislation tying assistance to continued anti-corruption reform. Those conditions remain in place and I look forward to seeing President Zelensky’s government continue to move forward on an anti-corruption agenda. The United States Congress will continue to make sure the Ukrainian military has the capabilities it needs to defend its sovereign territory – on the land, sea, and air. As co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, I will continue to lead efforts in the Senate to ensure Ukrainians have the equipment, resources and capabilities they need to defend themselves against Russian aggression.

— U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement on December 4 focusing on the Ukrainian Security Assistance Package that was included in the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, also known as S.4049.


Two years have passed since the unification assembly that took place in Kyiv when the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was elected and the church’s constitutional charter was approved. Since then, and after the delivery of the Tomos of Autocephaly at the Phanar on the 6th of January, the Most Holy Church of Ukraine bears witness to the Orthodox faith and serves as the local Orthodox Church in the territory of the Ukrainian state, ‘under your strong and philanthropic guidance.’ […] The Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a fait accompli and, despite any intervention, cannot be cancelled. Those who insist on rejecting this fact serve other interests. Neither ‘maneuvers’ nor the theology, which has turned into verbosity, prosper in the blessed world of the Church.

— Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on December 16 issued a statement – “Autocephaly of Church of Ukraine is fait accompli – Those who reject it serve other interests” – to Metropolitan Epifaniy, offering congratulations on the second anniversary of the 2018 Unification Council that led to the Tomos of Autocephaly that was issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch in January 2019, and the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.