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Chair of the Senate Foreign Committee – for putin Ukraine is just a first step


Special Address to the Kyiv Security Forum 
Ben Cardin, 
United States Senator (D-MD),
Chair of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee
March 22, 2024

Hi! I’m Senator Ben Cardin, the Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Kyiv Security Forum comes at a critical time for Ukraine and the entire free world.

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine endangers democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Putin’s attack not only threatens Ukraine. It constitutes a threat to the European Union, to our NATO Allies, and the national security interests of the United States.

That’s because Putin’s attack to erase the nation of Ukraine is only one step in his push to restore the Soviet, the Russian Empire.    

I want to commend the people and Military of Ukraine for your incredible courage and determination in this battle against Russia. Not only is it critical that we support you in this war today. We must also support Ukraine in the future, both by helping your country rebuild from the ashes of this war and by ensuring long-term and enduring peace across Europe.

That means standing by you every step the way until you are members of NATO and the European Union.

The progress we have already seen in reforms is immense. A great feat especially while fighting the war. And we will work with you until you have achieved every requirement necessary to secure Ukraine’s future, so that your children never again face an invasion from an imperialistic neighbor.

I want to recognize the Biden Administration for their efforts in Ukraine. They saw the writing on the wall early, and warned the world of Putin’s plans. They gave policymakers form Kyiv to Washington critical time to prepare.

And the Biden Administration has also pulled out all the stops to try and keep democratic nations united against Russia’s aggression.

Of course, the United States Congress also must play the role. I was pleased that not long ago the Repo Act passed out by our Senate foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 20 to 1, confiscating central bank assets of a foreign country with which we are not at war, would be a first for the United States.

But while this is incredibly consequential by-partisan legislation that targets frozen Russian assets, the supplemental funding request is even more important.  The vote to advance the supplemental funding was one of my most important votes I ever cast in all my years in office.

I am proud that we in the Senate passed this legislation on a bi-partisan basis.

Now it’s the time for members in the House of Representatives to get it over the finish line.

This money is critical in helping get Ukrainians the weapons and ammunition they need to fight back against Putin.

So as you gather and commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the European Union know that for me and many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we care deeply about the fate of Ukraine.

We support your trajectory towards an independent European nation. We support your fight for victory over Russia’s aggression.

We believe that a secure, prosperous and democratically governed Ukraine is the only path forward.

So, thank you for attending the Forum today.

I wish you a productive discussion.  

© Arseniy Yatsenyuk Charity Foundation "Open Ukraine"
locationUkraine, Kyiv, 01001
Kyiv Security Forum
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation
© Arseniy Yatsenyuk Charity Foundation "Open Ukraine"