Durbin Discusses Ukraine’s Future In The Eu & Nato With Chair Of The Verkhovna Rada

ROCKFORD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, today discussed Ukraine’s future in the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with Chair of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, ahead of the NATO Summit.  Durbin will travel to Vilnius, Lithuania next week for the NATO Summit with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), where he will express his support for Ukraine’s future in the EU and NATO.

“Now more than ever we need to continue support for our Ukraine allies,” said Durbin.  “The world will be watching next week at the NATO Summit as the world's critical military alliance reaffirms its sustained support for repelling Russia's invasion of Ukraine.”

Durbin has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine in the Senate.  Last week, Durbin sent a letter to President Joe Biden once again urging his Administration to support the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into the atrocities committed in Ukraine.  Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) previously wrote to President Biden in March to emphasize the urgency of aiding the ICC’s investigation into Russian atrocities in Ukraine.  Yet the Administration—reportedly at the behest of the Department of Defense—has still failed to implement the additional authorities provided to it by Congress last December.  

Last month, a bipartisan group of Senators met with ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, who described how the ICC is helping Ukraine investigate and prosecute Russian forces and leadership who are responsible for these heinous crimes. 

In April, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled “Holding Russian Kleptocrats and Human Rights Violators Accountable for their Crimes Against Ukraine,” with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. 

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Durbin, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Graham introduced the bipartisan Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act – which updates the current war crimes statute to enable prosecution of war criminals in the United States regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator or victim.  The bill was signed into law by President Biden.  Durbin-authored legislation restricting U.S. recognition of any forcibly annexed areas of Ukraine by Russia also passed as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.