Rep. Frelinghuysen Welcomes Ukraine's President to Capitol Hill: Again Urges Obama to Increase Military Aid to Ukraine

Washington, D.C.Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) was appointed by the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to serve on the Official Escort Committee that this morning welcomed the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, to the United States Capitol. Frelinghuysen then joined several of his colleagues in escorting President Poroshenko into the House Chamber, where the President addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress.

“I was honored to be asked to serve on the Official Escort Committee to welcome President Poroshenko to Capitol Hill,” Frelinghuysen said. “I am also pleased I had the opportunity to personally assure the President of my very strong support for Ukraine. The United States must continue to stand with Ukraine in its fight to turn back Russian aggression.”

“President Poroshenko’s speech was deeply moving,” Frelinghuysen continued. “He described the Ukrainian people’s passionate desire for freedom and national self-determination, and their commitment to defend their country from foreign invaders. I believe the United States can and should do more to assist Ukraine as they continue bravely to defend their country and their freedom.

In advance of President Poroshenko’s visit to Capitol Hill, Frelinghuysen wrote earlier this week to President Obama to urge him to grant Ukraine status as a “Major Non-NATO Ally.” Such status would make Ukraine eligible for significantly greater military assistance than the United States is currently providing.

Frelinghuysen first urged this action in a March 24, 2014 letter to the President. The White House has not responded to the Congressman’s March request, prompting this follow-up letter.

“President Obama should have granted Ukraine Major Non-NATO Ally status months ago,” Frelinghuysen said, “With Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Washington to address a joint meeting of Congress and meet with President Obama, this would be a perfect time for the President to finally designate Ukraine a Major Non-NATO Ally.”

Frelinghuysen hosted Ms. Roksolana Lozynskyj, a resident of Boonton Township, as his personal guest at the speech. Ms. Lozynskyj serves on the board of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. New Jersey’s Eleventh Congressional District is home to one of the largest populations of Ukrainian Americans in the United States. 

Congressman Frelinghuysen's letter to President Obama regarding Ukraine (09/18/1404:19 PMET )