Durbin Applauds Senate Passage of Ukraine Aid Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded the Senate's 98 to 2 vote to approve a bill that would send aid to Ukraine and place more sanctions on Russia for its acts of aggression in Crimea. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill today and the legislation is expected to be sent to the President shortly for his signature.

“The United States took a serious step forward today to show the people of Ukraine that we stand with them as they work toward a more democratic future,” Durbin said. “The overwhelming bipartisan vote also sends a clear message that if a country gives up its nuclear weapons, it will not endanger its survival. The sanctions on Russia included in this measure condemn Vladimir Putin's Soviet-style actions in Crimea.”

On Tuesday, Durbin called on his colleagues to pass the Ukraine aid legislation. Video of Durbin's remarks on the Senate floor is available here.  Also on Tuesday Durbin joined U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) for a meeting with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in Durbin's Capitol office to discuss the ongoing crisis.  A photo of the meeting can be found here.


Monday night, Durbin spoke about his trip to Ukraine and a community briefing in Chicago's Ukrainian Village on the Senate floor. His comments came moments after he spoke with Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Olexander Motsyk about the current situation in Ukraine. Video of Durbin's remarks is available here.


Earlier this month, Durbin helped lead a congressional delegation to Kiev for meetings with the interim Ukrainian government, Ukrainian political party leaders, democracy activists, civil society groups and U.S. embassy officials.  Prior to the trip, a Durbin-authored bipartisan resolution supporting Ukrainian democracy movements and condemning the Russian occupation of Crimea unanimously passed the Senate.


Durbin sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is the Chairman of the Senate's Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on European Affairs which has jurisdiction over matters concerning the continent of Europe, including the Caucasus. Its responsibilities include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.