DearColleague.us

Letter

Marcy Kaptur

From the office of:

Marcy Kaptur

Sending Office: Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Sent By:
Nicholas.Kazvini-Gore@mail.house.gov

Be an Original Cosponsor on a Resolution Reaffirming Resolute Bipartisan Support for Ukraine

Current original sponsors: Harris, Quigley, Fitzpatrick, Rush, Boyle, Cicilline, Costa, Ryan, Cook, Jackson Lee

Deadline for Originals: today

 

Dear Colleague:

As co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus, we invite you to cosponsor a resolution reaffirming resolute bipartisan support for Ukraine. This vital and time sensitive measure affirms the United States strategic interest in securing liberty
and democracy in Europe. This is not possible without support for Ukraine in its efforts to counter Russian aggression and her aspiration to take equal place among the global community of democracies.

During the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukrainians bravely rose up leading to the ouster of pro-Russia, corrupt Ukrainian President, Victor Yanukovych who fled to Russia after looting billions from the Ukrainian people. Since then, they have been on the
front lines of Russian aggression while still making significant democratic progress. Tragically, Russia uses hybrid warfare tactics to subvert democratic institutions and critical alliances including the weaponization of energy, election meddling, paramilitary
operations, extrajudicial assassinations, and disinformation campaigns. Due to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukrainian regions, more than 13,000 Ukrainians have lost their lives and millions more have been displaced.

This resolution is a signal of our continued resolute bipartisan support for Ukraine. The adoption of this resolution would call for Russia to honor the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances to Ukraine and to cease its aggressive actions towards
Ukraine, Europe, and NATO. The resolution expresses solidarity with religious minorities and human rights defenders in Russian-occupied Ukraine who have endured arrest, torture, and disappearances due to Russia’s draconian occupation.

The resolution also expresses support for increased U.S. security and capacity-building assistance to Ukraine including an increase in funds for such assistance. The bill urges the United States to continue to strengthen critical efforts to enhance Ukrainian
capacity to defend itself, including via enhanced cyber cooperation, military training and provision of military equipment, countering disinformation, assistance to support care for Ukrainian veterans, support market access for Ukrainian rural women, and other
critical programs.

Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor the resolution supporting the Ukraine resolution, please contact Nicholas Kazvini-Gore (Nicholas.Kazvini-Gore@mail.house.gov)
of Ms. Kaptur’s staff, Tim Daniels (Tim.Daniels@mail.house.gov) of Dr. Harris’ staff, Allison Jarus (Allison.jarus@mail.house.gov) of Mr. Quigley’s staff, or
Mike McCabe (Michael.McCabe@mail.house.gov) of Mr. Fitzpatrick’s staff.

Sincerely,

MARCY KAPTUR                          ANDY HARRIS, M.D.

Member of Congress                        Member of Congress

 

MIKE QUIGLEY                           BRIAN FITZPATRICK

Member of Congress                      Member of Congress

Resolution text:

Affirming the United States vital interest in liberty in Europe and resolute support for Ukraine in its efforts to counter Russian aggression and continue its trajectory among the community of democracies.

Whereas Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace Program in 1994, and has been a longstanding NATO-aspirant country;

Whereas at the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit, member nations’ heads of state and government issued a communique stating, ‘‘NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become
members of NATO. Both nations have made valuable contribution to Alliance operations.”;

Whereas, in 2014, the Ukrainian people bravely rose up in the Revolution of Dignity, leading to the ouster of pro- Russian, corrupt Ukrainian President, Victor Yanukovych who fled to Russia after looting billions from the Ukrainian people;

Whereas, as a result, Russian Forces illegally invaded, occupied, and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in March 2014, as well as led and supported illegal military, paramilitary, and other separatist activity in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of eastern
Ukraine since April 2014;

Whereas the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine has led to the deaths of more than 13,000 people and the internal displacement of more than 1,400,000;

Whereas, on July 17, 2014, Russian-backed separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragically killing 298 innocents;

Whereas Russia has a deeply concerning human rights record in Russian-occupied Crimea and territories in eastern Ukraine, including persecution of religious minorities such as the Crimean Tartars, and arbitrary arrests and disappearances of journalists and
civil society activists;

Whereas international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, to which Russia is a signatory, requires Russia to respect and protect the religious freedom of the inhabitants of the territory it occupies and controls, or controls through organized
nonstate armed groups it commands, and holds Russia responsible for violations of religious freedom in this territory;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Reports, and other reporting, violations of religious freedom in the Crimea region of Ukraine since Russia invaded and occupied the territory have included abduction, detention
and imprisonment, torture, forced psychiatric hospitalizations, fines, restrictions on missionary activities, confiscations of property, including churches and meeting halls, expulsions and obstructions to reentry, denying registration of religious groups,
vandalism, fines, and banning peaceful religious groups, and targeted groups have included Muslim Crimean Tatars, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formerly the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Protestant
Christians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Reports, violations of religious freedom in the part of the Donbas region of Ukraine controlled by armed groups commanded by Russia have included detention and imprisonment, torture,
confiscation of property, including churches and meeting halls, physical assaults and threats of violence, vandalism, fines, restrictions on missionary activities, religious services, ceremonies, gatherings, and literature, and banning of peaceful religious
groups, and targeted groups have included the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formerly the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Protestant Christians, and Jehovah’s Witnesses;

Whereas Emir-Usein Kukus, a Crimean Tartar and vocal dissident of Russia’s oppression in Crimea, was arrested, beaten, interrogated, and illegally transported to Rostov-on-Don in the Russian Federation by the Federal Security Service (FSB) where he remains
in Russian detainment;

Whereas Russia seeks to undermine democratic institutions in Ukraine and globally through hybrid means, including conventional warfare, cyberattacks, weaponizing energy, election intervention, disinformation campaigns, and paramilitary operations;

Whereas Russia seeks to use the Nord Stream II and Turk Stream natural gas pipelines to bypass Ukrainian transit routes and weaken that nation’s energy security and economy;

Whereas the Russian Federal Security Service Border Service illegally fired upon and captured 3 Ukrainian Navy vessels, including 24 Ukrainian crewmembers, that were exercising Ukraine’s right to navigation through the Kerch Strait on the way to the Ukrainian
port of Mariupol in November 2018;

Whereas this naval aggression is part of Russia’s strategy of ‘‘creeping annexation’’, to slowly chip away at Ukraine’s sovereignty;

Whereas the Ukrainian Government states that Russia is holding at least 113 Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian territory and the territory it currently occupies in Crimea in contravention of international law;

Whereas it is estimated that more than 100 other prisoners are being held in the Russia-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine;

Whereas Russia, together with the United States and the United Kingdom, affirmed its commitment ‘‘to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine’’, as well as the ‘‘obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force’’
against Ukraine in the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in exchange for Ukraine’s voluntary and peaceful willingness to relinquish its nuclear weapons;

Whereas, since 2014, the United States Government has imposed sanctions against Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea, invasion of eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities in Ukraine;

Whereas Congress passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 with overwhelming bipartisan support, which mandated and increased these sanctions;

Whereas Congress has provided close to $4.1 billion in critical security and development assistance to Ukraine to help that nation deter Russian aggression, strengthen democratic institutions, and to continue its euro-Atlantic trajectory;

Whereas United States servicemembers in cooperation with NATO forces provide critical training to Ukrainian ground force units at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center;

Whereas United States cooperation with Ukraine has yielded valuable lessons into the evolution of Russia’s hybrid warfare tactics thereby enhancing United States readiness;

Whereas Ukraine held Presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019, which the international community lauded as free and fair;

Whereas, since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine’s civil society has played a critical role in advancing democratic and rule of law reforms, sometimes paying with their lives, as was the case of Kateryna Handziuk, who died on November 4, 2018, of injuries
sustained during a July 2018 acid attack;

Whereas, in April 2019, Ukraine launched a special anticorruption court to counter Ukraine’s longstanding problems of corruption that is to be free from political influence;

Whereas Ukraine’s central bank rightfully nationalized PrivatBank due to its previous owners’ rampant corruption and theft from the Ukrainian people;

Whereas PrivatBank must remain independent from any oligarch influence, must not be returned to its previous ownership, and is a test case for Ukraine’s commitment to anticorruption reform efforts;

Whereas, in January 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople recognized an autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, thereby officially granting it independence from the Russian Orthodox Church; and

Whereas it is the longstanding policy of the United States not to recognize territorial changes that are the result of illegal use of force: Now, therefore, be it

1          Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

2                      (1) reaffirms the commitment of the United

3          States to support the democratically elected Govern-

4          ment of Ukraine and its people;

5                      (2) reaffirms the support of the United States

6          for the integration of Ukraine with the North Atlan-

7          tic Treaty Organization and the European Union;

1                      (3) commends the Ukrainian people’s commit

2          ment to liberty and critical progress made since the

3          2014 Revolution of Dignity despite immense pres-

4          sure from Russian aggression and hybrid warfare

5          tactics;

6                      (4) condemns Russia’s continued aggression in

7          Ukraine including the illegal occupation of Crimea

8          and eastern Ukraine;

9                      (5) calls for Russia to immediately remove all

10        personnel and equipment belonging to its security or

11        armed forces and proxies from the sovereign terri-

12        tory of Ukraine, and for Ukraine to regain control

13        of its border with Russia, including sections now

14        held by separatist forces;

15                    (6) calls for the immediate release of Ukrainian

16        human rights defenders and dissidents illegally ar-

17        rested by Russian forces and their proxies;

18                    (7) condemns any form of religious persecution

19        and violation of religious freedoms by Russia or

20        armed groups commanded by Russia in the illegally

21        occupied Donbas and Crimea regions of Ukraine;

22                    (8) reaffirms opposition to the Nord Stream II

23        natural gas pipeline, which is political in nature, and

24        calls for enactment of sanctions with respect to these

25        pipelines;

1                      (9) expresses support for increased United

2          States security and capacity-building assistance to

3          Ukraine, and an increase in funds for such assist-

4          ance;

5                      (10) urges the United States to continue to

6          strengthen critical efforts to enhance Ukrainian ca-

7          pacity to defend itself, including via enhanced cyber

8          cooperation, military training and provision of mili-

9          tary equipment, countering disinformation, assist-

10        ance to support psychosocial care and job integra-

11        tion for Ukrainian veterans, supporting market ac-

12        cess for Ukrainian rural women, and other critical

13        programs;

14                    (11) supports the Ukrainian Government in its

15        efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the inter-

16        national armed conflict in eastern Ukraine caused by

17        Russia’s ongoing military aggression and illegal oc-

18        cupation, through the establishment of a full

19        ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian and Russia-backed

20        illegal military forces, and the fulfillment of other

21        elements of the Minsk Agreements and appointing a

22        United States diplomat to play an active role in sup-

23        port of the negotiations and ensuring Ukraine’s se-

24        curity;

1                      (12) calls for Russia to release all Ukrainians

2          detained by Russian forces or their proxies for their

3          activities on sovereign Ukrainian territory;

4                      (13) calls on the United States Government,

5          United States allies in Europe, the United Nations,

6          the Organization for Security and Co-operation in

7          Europe, and international partners to continue to

8          pressure Russia to uphold its international obliga-

9          tions; and

10                    (14) continues to oppose Russian threats to the

11        energy security of United States allies in Europe

12        and encourages the Government of the United

13        States to further support the diversification of en-

14        ergy supplies to Europe.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence

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