Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member of Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Urge Additional Assistance for Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to President Barack Obama, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense have urged that the Administration increase assistance to the government of Ukraine immediately.  Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN) wrote “First, you should designate Ukraine as a Major Non NATO Ally.  Second, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 contains $175 million within the European Reassurance Initiative Fund specifically to provide aid to Ukraine and the Baltic States.  We request that a substantial amount of funding be reprogrammed to that fund thereby increasing the amount of funding available for assistance.”

Frelinghuysen and Visclosky, along with six other members of the Defense Subcommittee, Kay Granger (R-TX), Ken Calvert (R-CA), John Carter (R-TX), Steve Womack (R-AR), Steve Israel (D-NY), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), recently returned from a bipartisan fact-finding trip to Kiev, Ukraine where they met with President Petro Poroshenko, his prime minster and his defense minster to discuss Russian ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

The delegation told the President that the situation in Ukraine is “alarming.” “As you are aware, President Putin is using Ukraine as a test bed for a new type of warfare by using state sponsored insurgents to carry out his campaign.  The Russians are clearly managing the command and control of the insurgency and have invaded Ukraine using the façade of this insurgency for plausible deniability.  Additionally, Russia is overwhelmingly winning the communication battle in Europe and Ukraine itself and is showing success in dividing Ukraine’s neighbors,” they wrote. “Whether or not these neighbors actually believe that Russia will stop with a successful occupation of Ukraine is another thing, but for now they are siding with Russia.”

“We believe the situation in Ukraine is a matter of critical importance to the national security of the United States.  The world is watching with intense interest how our Nation reacts to the war in Ukraine today.  We are sure you are aware Mr. President, that Russia is not just acting in its near term best interest, but is looking many years into the future.  It is important that we do the same.”

Chairman Frelinghuysen's letter to President Obama urging additional assistance for Ukraine (03/25/1507:55 PMET )