Letter: Support Ukraine: S.2124

Published: Monday, March 31 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

I am writing to urge support for Senate Bill 2124: the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014.

Ukraine's independence from Russia was pivotal to the U.S. winning the Cold War. In 1994, the U.S., the U.K., and Russia concluded the Budapest Memorandum pledging to protect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine surrendering its nuclear arsenal to Russia. Twenty years later, Russia invaded the Crimea region of Ukraine, overthrew its elected government, imposed an illicit referendum rejected by at least 40 percent of Crimea's residents, including its indigenous inhabitants, and absorbed the Ukrainian territory.

Russia's predatory action against Ukraine threatens not only Europe's security, it also constitutes the first territorial expansion of a U.N. Security Council member by means of an invasion of another U.N. member state since World War II. Russia's blatant violation of the Budapest Memorandum and other international obligations also jeopardizes U.S. credibility and our ability to pursue nuclear nonproliferation.

The U.S. must take immediate action to follow through on our commitments to Ukraine. I commend Congress for passing a House bill to provide a $1 billion loan to Ukraine and for incorporating that loan in the Senate bill.

S.2124 also calls for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform to increase the aid that Ukraine desperately needs and to institute further sanctions against the individuals responsible for violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity.

Please, urge our leaders to vote yes on S.2124, as U.S. interests and global peace and security are at stake.

Oleh Kernytsky

Salt Lake City

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