Levin Floor Statement on Ukrainian Resolution

Sep 17, 2014 Issues: Foreign Affairs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement on the House floor in support of a resolution showing our support for the Ukrainian people's right to determine their own future:

This Resolution shows our support for the Ukrainian people’s right to determine their own future -- and to build a country that is free and democratic.  We stand firmly with the Ukrainian people, and condemn Russia’s aggression. 

We should always remember that the impetus for Ukraine’s freedom comes from within – from within the Ukrainian people.  It is their desire to be free that is the ultimate force behind all international efforts. Time and events have shown time and again that the Ukrainian people are standing up for their freedom: from the Orange Revolution in 2004  to the protests in Maidan Square earlier this year –  it is clear to the world that Ukraine is determined to build her own future. 

This past year has been very difficult.  The Ukrainian people have paid a very high price to govern according to their own wishes. The images and reports from Ukraine have been hard to accept and we are deeply saddened by the lives lost and by the overwhelming uncertainties that still loom ahead.

Yet the Ukrainian people have spoken through their actions.  Just yesterday here at the Capitol, the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus held a celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of its oldest school, the Kiev Mo-HY-la Academy.  At the event, I was delighted to see the strong support stemming from the American-Ukrainian community.  The community’s work in my home state of Michigan and all across the nation has led to close collaboration between the two nations, and have reaffirmed our common values.  The community’s work is especially important now, when others try to speak for the values and aspirations held true by the Ukrainian people. 

Tomorrow, we also welcome president Poro-SHEN-ko to a joint meeting with members of the House and Senate.  We look forward to his remarks.  The passage of this Resolution is emblematic of the support from the American people.  But we should always remember that the impetus for a free and democratic Ukraine comes from the Ukrainian people – but we can, should, and will help their efforts to build a free Ukraine.