Durbin, Portman, Urkaine Caucus Meet With Ukrainian Ambassador Markarova

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 Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova. The Ambassador provided an update to the Senate Ukraine Caucus on the Russian military invasion into Ukraine. The bipartisan meeting was attended by 22 senators.

 “The Ukrainian people are fighting a valiant battle against all odds,” said Durbin. “Today’s meeting reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to do everything we can to supply the brave Ukrainian fighters and aid refugees fleeing the violence. We also will continue to enforce harsh, coordinated sanctions and other pressure against Russia and Vladimir Putin for the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Ambassador Markarova is a tireless voice for her country’s future and I was pleased to pledge my continued support to help the Ukrainian people. My heart and support go out to these Ukrainian patriots, these defenders of democracy.”

“I appreciate Ambassador Markarova’s visit with the Senate Ukraine Caucus so we could discuss in detail the needs of Ukraine during this critical time,” said Portman. “I continue to be inspired by Ukrainian people, and the resolve they’ve shown to fight back against the illegal Russian invasion is admirable. The United States must continue to do all it can to help Ukraine by sending immediate military aid and imposing the toughest of sanctions on the Russian and Belarusian governments and economies, while also aiding Ukrainians who are fleeing the violence.”


The Senators and Ambassador discussed additional actions Congress and the Administration can take in the coming days to help the Ukrainian people as they continue to fight for their freedom.

Durbin, Portman, and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led 39 Senators in a letter to President Biden urging the Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ukrainians in the United States following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. 

A photo of the meeting is available here.

On February 24, Ukraine declared a state of emergency and closed its airspace to commercial flights after Russia launched a series of unprovoked military strikes against major Ukrainian cities with forces attacking by land, sea, and air. Russian forces have employed hundreds of missiles against military and civilian targets across Ukraine in clear violation of international law, and troops continue to push to overtake major cities, including Kyiv. Ukrainian officials reported that at least 353 civilians have been killed so far since the Russian invasion began.

Last week, Durbin traveled to Warsaw, Poland, and Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss Russian aggression and interference in western democracies, and congressional support for the transatlantic relationship and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).