WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced on September 23 that the Senate’s fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) extends the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and increases funding from $250 million to $300 million per year, including at least $75 million specifically for lethal assistance. These funds are used to help train, equip and provide support for the Ukrainian government in their effort to defend their territory and autonomy against ongoing Russian aggression. Mr. Portman, a co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:
“I am pleased to see this extension and increase in security aid to our ally Ukraine and I’m proud it’s included in the Senate’s annual defense bill. It is clear that the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative continues to provide our allies in Ukraine with the assistance they need to defend their sovereign territory – on the land, sea and air. I’m proud to have led the effort in Congress to secure this crucial funding. The Ukrainian military has fought bravely and made tremendous strides against Russian aggression. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure the United States continues to stand with Ukraine in their fight to secure a democratic, prosperous and independent future.”
For the past five years, Sen. Portman successfully championed language in the annual NDAA that expanded U.S. military aid to Ukraine, while strongly encouraging the Ukrainian government to continue their efforts in eliminating corruption and continuing with much needed security sector reforms. These provisions helped build the primary statutory framework for U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. In addition, he has repeatedly written letters, delivered multiple floor speeches and pressed senior administration officials on the importance of providing meaningful assistance to help Ukraine stand up to Russia’s military aggression, and he has pressed successive administrations to provide lethal assistance to the country.
For his efforts to support Ukraine, Sen. Portman was recognized in 2018 with the Order of Merit from then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and in 2016 he was awarded the Shevchenko Freedom Award by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Sen. Portman also championed the bipartisan resolution marking the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor, passed by the Senate in October 2018.