Durbin Statement on Senate Resolution Encouraging Peaceful Resolution of Crisis in Ukraine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and others this week in introducing a Senate Resolution urging the government of Ukraine and members of the opposition to find a peaceful and democratic resolution to the country's current political crisis.


“The mounting political impasse in Ukraine is deeply troubling,” Durbin said.  “Ukraine is an important friend and ally of the United States that I believe has a promising future with the West.  Such decisions should be made without coercion from other nations and through a peaceful and democratic process.  I urge all parties to this current political challenge to refrain from violence, adhere to democratic norms, and strive to focus on long term solutions to the country's economic challenges."


A copy of the Senate's resolution is attached.


After years of negotiations with the European Union over a historic trade and political agreement, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly suspended his country's preparations for signing the agreement last month, in part under increased pressure from Russia.  The decision prompted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to protest the decision -- some of which were met by violence from state police on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 11.


Last month, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution Durbin introduced calling for the release of Ukraine's former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been held on selective charges of abusing her power in a state-sponsored contract since 2011.  Numerous human rights groups and governments around the world, as well as the European Court of Human Rights, have called the charges politically motivated and called for Ms. Tymoshenko's release.


Durbin visited Ukraine last year, meeting separately with both President Yanukovych and former Prime Minister Tymoshenko's daughter to discuss the political situation in the country.