Durbin: Ukraine’s Future Is In The European Union And The Nato Alliance

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, spoke on the Senate floor highlighting Ukraine’s future as a member of the European Union and the NATO alliance.  Durbin began his speech by reflecting on D-Day and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley’s trip to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France last week.

Durbin said, “In the audience were veterans—some over 100 years old—who stormed those beaches 79 years ago on D-Day.  It was a critical moment in World War II—the beginning of the liberation of Europe, and the beginning of the end of Nazi tyranny.  Looking out over a sea of headstones of fallen American patriots, Secretary Austin said, ‘It’s easy to forget how desperate the battle was but on D-Day, courage won over terror, daring over cruelty, and liberty won over tyranny.’  Today, that same eternal battle is being fought out again in Ukraine, which has begun a heroic counteroffensive to finally drive out Vladimir Putin and the Russian invaders and preserve democracy.”

Next month, Durbin and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will travel to the NATO summit in Lithuania, where he hopes conversations will include continued support of Ukraine’s counteroffensive and the country’s long-term security.  Durbin also praised the succession of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Durbin continued, “Let me also state clearly today that I believe Ukraine’s future is in the European Union and the NATO alliance.  And until the day that Ukraine can join NATO, the U.S. and other key allies must help Ukraine with security guarantees—as we do with other key, non-NATO allies.  It is clear that Ukraine can never again trust Russia.  It is in the interest of the U.S. and democracy itself that we ensure Ukraine can always defend itself, and that any aggressor will think twice before ever again trying to threaten its people or territory.” 

During his speech, Durbin also called on his colleagues to continue bipartisan assistance to Ukraine.   

“President Biden knows what’s at stake in this fight against tyranny.  So do our NATO allies and Minority Leader McConnell.  Echoing Ronald Reagan, he [McConnell] has spoken forcefully about the need for continued bipartisan support for Ukraine,” said Durbin. 

“In his remarks at Normandy last week, Secretary Austin said, ‘free soldiers will fight more bravely than the armies of tyrants.’  He is correct, but the free people of Ukraine must not be left to fight this war alone.  The United States and the nations of the free world must provide the resources and equipment and training necessary for them to prevail against Putin and his cowardly enablers.  The free people and soldiers of Ukraine are fighting today to preserve the peace and international order for which those young Americans gave their lives at D-Day.  We must stand with them steadfastly until Ukraine is free again,” Durbin concluded.      

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

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

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