June 03, 2021
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate International Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Europe and Regional Safety Cooperation SFRC Subcommittee, and U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) at present concluded their journey to Jap Europe. They traveled to Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia to reaffirm U.S. dedication to regional companions and strengthen democratic reforms.
The Senators started their journey in Lithuania, the place they met with Belarusian opposition chief Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Lithuanian International Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to debate the Lukashenka regime’s growing human rights abuses towards political opposition. In Ukraine, the Senators inspired assist to strengthen democratic establishments towards an more and more aggressive Russia. To conclude the journey, Shaheen and Portman visited Georgia to spotlight bipartisan U.S. solidarity for the folks of Georgia of their efforts to implement a democratic compromise by way of the April 19th settlement.
“I’m grateful to the folks of Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia who hosted us and took part in considerate, bipartisan discussions round the way to strengthen democratic efforts all through the area — particularly within the face of an more and more aggressive Russia. Because the U.S. reasserts its world management in advancing democratic values, rebuilding our transatlantic relations has by no means been extra essential,” mentioned Shaheen. “Ukraine and Georgia are essential strategic allies, and I look ahead to serving to them advance their democracies and obtain their Euro-Atlantic ambitions. I additionally look ahead to persevering with our laborious work with Lithuania, which is on the frontline of holding the Lukashenka regime accountable for its alarming human rights abuses in Belarus. Assembly with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was encouraging – I consider in her imaginative and prescient to finish illegal detentions of people that dare to talk or write the reality, and to create a authorities that’s accountable to the folks of Belarus. I look ahead to advancing these discussions as Tsikhanouskaya visits Congress subsequent week, and I hope that Ukraine and Georgia are included as essential matters of dialogue within the upcoming NATO summit and Biden-Putin talks. This week laid a vital basis to guarantee our companions we’re dedicated to offering bipartisan assist to our Jap European allies within the weeks and months to come back.”
“Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia have the potential to create super alternative for his or her folks by following by way of on their commitments to enact constant democratic reforms. I used to be grateful to have the ability to journey to the area this week as a part of a bipartisan U.S. Senate congressional delegation and specific our assist to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Belarusian opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and Georgian Prime Minister Iraki Garibashvili,” mentioned Portman. “The US should proceed to face in solidarity with Ukraine towards exterior Russian aggression and assist its ongoing anti-corruption efforts. We should proceed to assist the folks of Belarus of their efforts to pursue freedom, democracy, and free and truthful elections. And we should proceed to help Georgia in its progress on the April 19 Settlement, in addition to electoral and judicial reforms. I strongly assist full NATO membership for each Ukraine and Georgia. Their dedication to free and democratic values is consistent with NATO’s and it’s time to fulfill the promise made within the 2008 Bucharest Settlement.”
“Now greater than ever, the U.S. and our allies have to mission a united entrance towards Russian aggression, and that’s why Senator Shaheen, Senator Portman and I traveled to Jap Europe this week. We confirmed robust bipartisan assist for Belarusian opposition chief Svytlana Tsikhanouskaya in Vilnius, the place we thanked her for the brave work she and her colleagues are doing to revive democracy in Belarus that evokes related actions internationally. And we reaffirmed the bipartisan U.S. dedication to Ukraine within the wake of the current Russian navy buildup alongside the Jap border – and inspired continued progress on democratic reforms in Ukraine. The perfect antidote to Russian interference is democracy, and our congressional delegation confirmed our European associates that america Congress is dedicated to defending their safety and advancing democratic reforms,” mentioned Murphy.
Subsequent week, the Senate International Relations Committee will maintain a listening to on Belarus to proceed discussions round opposing corruption and holding the Lukashenka regime accountable for its growing human rights abuses, together with the current hijacking of a civilian airliner to unlawfully arrest and detain journalist Raman Pratasevich. The upcoming NATO Summit on June 14th may even spotlight developments in Ukraine and Belarus, in addition to the way forward for the Atlantic Alliance.