April 15, 2021

UCCA Letter to President Joe Biden

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The following is the full text of a letter sent by the UCCA on April 12 to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Dear Mr. President:
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of the over 1.5 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, is deeply troubled and concerned with the reported potential appointment of Matthew Rojansky as Russia Director at the National Security Council. This appointment is fraught with many problems – not least of which is his belief that Ukraine is expendable to secure closer U.S.-Russia relations.

Mr. Rojansky’s work is a source of much anxiety and has drawn criticism not only from Ukrainians, but from Central and Eastern European countries and those domestically who are concerned about Russia’s influence in the United States. As exemplified by his support of a ‘Pro Unity’ Russian concert tour in 2017 – led by a Russian conductor known to support and defend [Russian President Vladimir] Putin – Mr. Rojansky’s actions and incendiary comments over the years would send the wrong message not only to our strategic partner Ukraine but also to reformers in Russia and the entire world.

On behalf of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which has promoted U.S. national interests and democratic values, and sought to advance the sovereignty and security of Ukraine for more than 80 years, we emphatically request that you reject Mr. Rojansky’s appointment. In fact, recent Russian aggressive actions towards Ukraine and other sovereign countries are rightfully viewed with alarm by our NATO allies and thus lie in direct contrast to Mr. Rojansky’s views and philosophies.

The security of the United States lies in the expansion of democratic values and principles, not in the appeasement of an imperial state. The Ukrainian community is ever grateful for U.S. support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty. But, as Ukraine faces daunting threats of Russian hybrid warfare and other forms of duress, we look towards the leadership and stewardship of the United States to assist Ukraine with increased levels of defensive weaponry to protect our European allies from Russian amassed forces; to execute stern sanctions to halt completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the political and economic implications associated with the project; as well as to implement a roadmap for Ukraine’s entry into NATO through a Membership Action Plan (MAP). These combined efforts would send a strong signal to our strategic partner Ukraine and others in the region about the national security interests of the United States.

Thank you for your consideration of this request and attention to these vital matters. We would like to reiterate that the Ukrainian American community looks forward to a productive and dynamic dialogue with you and members of your administration. As such, we respectfully request an opportunity to meet (virtually) with you to address these and other matters of immediate concern. For expediency in your administration’s future contact with our community, please feel free to communicate with the UCCA’s Washington, D.C., public affairs bureau by e-mail at unis.sawkiw@gmail.com.

Respectfully,
On behalf of the UCCA Executive Board,
Andrew Futey, president
Michael Sawkiw, Jr., executive vice president
cc: Secretary of State Antony Blinken