Durbin Statement on Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's Address to the United States Senate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, today released the following statement after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the United States Senate:

“I’m angry that we would consider walking away from Ukraine in this moment in history.  For almost two years, they have fought off one of the most powerful militaries in the world—and given their lives to do it.  And we said that we will stand by their side.  Now, some members of Congress have grown impatient—they want it over with and they don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Ukrainians are continuing to give their lives every day and we are ‘impatient?’ 

“What does it mean in the future when the United States says ‘we are on your side?’  Does it mean anything if we walk away from Ukraine?  I don’t think so.

“What we do has consequences—global and historic consequences.  Vladimir Putin is watching.  I implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to think long and hard about what President Reagan and Senator McCain would say about showing weakness to former KGB apparatchik Vladimir Putin.  Let’s not flinch when it comes to standing up to such obvious threats to freedom.”

At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing last month, Durbin questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about the 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.  Secretary Blinken also emphasized Putin’s efforts to distract the U.S. from the war in Ukraine by meeting with Hamas leadership in Moscow amid the crisis in the Middle East.