March 19, 2021

U.S. Senators introduce legislation to provide assistance, support for Ukraine


On March 11, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released the following statement.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today introduced the Ukraine Security Partnership Act to provide security assistance and strategic support to Ukraine.

“I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation to provide a comprehensive strategy to support Ukraine,” Sen. Portman said. “As the Co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus I have worked in a bipartisan manner to support Ukraine as it fights back against Russian aggression and continues to build a strong democracy free of corruption. I commend my colleagues for joining me in cosponsoring this bill.”

“In the seven years following Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian service members have selflessly and courageously continued to defend their homeland against Russian ground, sea and cyberspace assaults that violate Ukrainian sovereignty and security,” said Sen. Menendez, who also co-chairs the caucus. “In the interest of supporting Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression and advancing American values and foreign policy priorities, I am proud to join in reintroducing the Ukraine Security Partnership Act, a long-term security assistance package that demonstrates our bipartisan commitment to a secure Ukraine.”

“Seven years ago, this week, Russia illegally seized Crimea and began a campaign of covert military support for eastern Ukrainian separatists,” said Sen. Risch, the ranking member. “Despite Russia’s blatant disregard for international laws and commitments, Ukraine has remained a steadfast partner of the United States and has pushed back against Russian malign influence in Europe. I am proud to re-introduce this legislation today to demonstrate the United States’ continued support for the people of Ukraine and the country’s democratic transition.”

“As Ukraine continues to be a vital test case for our ability to help fragile democracies withstand pressure from internal and external malign forces, it’s more important than ever that we reaffirm strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine both in Congress and the White House. The Ukraine Security Assistance Partnership Act helps us get the relationship back on track by authorizing multi-year security assistance to help defend against Russian aggression, while also encouraging progress on the faltering reform agenda. This legislation helps preserve our strategic partnership while also furthering U.S. national security interests. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it signed into law,” said Sen. Murphy.

“The Ukrainian people need every available resource to fight back against Russian aggression. We stand with the people of Ukraine as they defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their nation,” said Sen. Barrasso. “Our bipartisan legislation provides Ukraine with key military and diplomatic resources to help secure a peaceful, democratic future for their country. The United States is committed to fully supporting our strong partner, Ukraine.”

“Preserving Ukraine’s sovereignty is critical to both U.S. national security and our world order. Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine continues, and so must U.S. support to safeguard its right to self-determination,” said Sen. Shaheen. “This bipartisan bill demonstrates the Senate’s commitment – across party lines – to stand by our partner in the region and stand up to Mr. Putin. Ukraine’s security is tied to our global stability, which is why this legislation to provide it the tools necessary to defend itself and remain committed to democratic reform is so important.”

There are several key provisions of the Ukraine Security Partnership Act. The act requires a report on U.S. diplomatic support for Ukraine over the next five years; encourages the Department of State to establish a working group on Ukraine with relevant European allies; encourages the administration to appoint a special envoy for Ukraine to serve as the U.S. liaison for the Normandy Format peace negotiations and to facilitate dialogue between Black Sea countries; authorizes up to $300 million per year of foreign military financing to Ukraine, subject to certifications, including the authority to provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance; requires a Department of Defense and State Department report on the capability and capacity requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces, a plan to supply U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, and any recommendations; expedites the transfer of excess defense articles to Ukraine, and calls for a strategy to encourage partner nations to do the same; and it authorizes $4 million per year to train Ukrainian military officers through the International Military Education and Training program.