Durbin Meets with Finnish Ambassador, Mikko Hautala

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, met with Finnish Ambassador to the U.S., Mikko Hautala, to discuss continued support for Ukraine.  They also discussed ways to strengthen the NATO alliance seven months after Finland formally joined the alliance.  Finland’s historic entry into NATO added significant military capability, notably along more than 800 miles of Russia’s border.

“More than 20 months after Putin began his brutal, criminal invasion, Ukraine remains on the frontlines of democracy.  During today’s meeting, I reiterated my support for Ukraine, and how I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure we provide our Ukrainian friends with the resources and equipment necessary to prevail against Russian tyranny,” said Durbin.  “I also expressed my support to Ambassador Hautala regarding Finland’s formal entry into NATO.  In the face of one of the greatest transatlantic security threats in a generation, we are sending a clear message to Putin: the NATO alliance is strong.”

A photo of the meeting is available here.

At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing last week, Durbin questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about President Biden’s national security supplemental request and emphasized how detrimental it would be for the NATO alliance if the United States did not continue to financially support Ukraine. 

Last week, the House passed a Republican-led plan to provide billions of dollars only to Israel.  In a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, Durbin slammed their plan, which would omit support for Ukraine to defend itself from Russia.

Durbin traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania, with his colleagues for the 2023 NATO Summit where they discussed congressional support for the transatlantic relationship, as well as continued Russian aggression in the region and efforts to undermine allied security and democracy.