Durbin, Portman Meet With U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, met with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink to discuss the latest events regarding Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. They also discussed how the Senate can continue to better support our ally through military, economic, and humanitarian assistance.

“As Putin’s military continues to attack, innocent Ukrainians are forced to flee and fear for their safety. In speaking with Ambassador Brink, we agreed that we need continued U.S. and NATO support to provide equipment, tighten economic pressure on Putin and his cronies, and welcome Ukrainian refugees into the U.S.,” said Durbin. “Ambassador Brink has a deep understanding of the region and received unanimous support from the Senate. I look forward to our many future discussions.”

“Russia has brought horrible destruction and devastation to Ukraine, but so many Ukrainians are fighting valiantly. It was great to meet with Ambassador Brink and Senator Durbin today to hear about what she is seeing on the ground and how we can better assist our diplomats in-country and Ukrainians defending their homeland,” said Portman. “Ambassador Brink’s presence in Ukraine is vital to working closely with our allies and partners in Ukraine and in the region, and to ensure effective oversight of the significant military, economic and humanitarian assistance that the United States is providing to Ukraine. I am thankful that we were able to move her nomination through the Senate rapidly so that she could start her important work expeditiously.”

Photos of the meeting are available here.

Yesterday, Durbin and Portman, along with U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin urging him to send more advanced artillery rocket systems and ammunition to Ukraine, as the systems are vital in Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s brutal invasion. The Senators commended the decision by the Biden Administration earlier this month to send M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine and urged the Administration to send additional such aid given the amount of artillery Russia has at their disposal. The Senators called on Secretary Austin to send additional systems urgently, like HIMARS or the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), in order to level the playing field for Ukraine and allow them to halt Russian advances in the Donbas region and strengthen their counteroffensives in other parts of the country.