Durbin: The NATO Alliance Is Stronger Than Ever Before

Following President Zelensky’s address to a Joint Session of Congress, Durbin reiterated his support for Ukraine

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, spoke on the Senate floor following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to a Joint Session of Congress. Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution cosponsored by Durbin condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal.


“The second item I would like to mention refers to a moving historic presentation this morning by the President of Ukraine to a Joint Session of Congress. He did it virtually because he is in Kyiv, risking his life every single day for his nation. Volodymyr Zelensky may have started life as a standup comedian. At this moment of life, he is a stand up President of Ukraine who is confronting the monster of Moscow… He begged us to continue to help, and we will. Last week we added almost $14 billion to the effort to support the Ukrainian defense and resistance. We need to do that and more,” said Durbin.


Durbin also praised President Biden for his leadership, particularly connecting the NATO alliance at this critical time.


“He [President Biden] understood it better than anyone. He knew that if he pushed too far and too fast, two things might occur. First, that the Russians would move because we had precipitated it with an action we had taken. He was hoping, as we all did, that this could be ended bloodlessly – and innocent people would be saved from the devastation that is happening in Ukraine today. So he was careful to make those moves in a way that Putin couldn’t use them as an excuse for starting the invasion. Second and more important, he needed to move at a pace consistent with building the NATO alliance. President Joe Biden succeeded in that effort. The NATO alliance today is stronger than it has ever been,” Durbin continued.


Durbin concluded, “Zelensky touched our hearts too. His people are fighting a valiant effort, and the United States and allies and countries that share our values stand behind him and will continue to.”


Last week, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill. The $1.5 trillion package provides $13.6 billion in humanitarian, military, and economic support for Ukraine. Within that amount, $6 billion is provided in State and USAID humanitarian assistance; $100 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Peace aid for Ukraine; $6.5 billion in Defense spending; and $19 million for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to support targeted sanctions measures.


 Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.


Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.


Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.