The senators who lead the Foreign Relations Committee have asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to invite Ukraine’s president to address a joint session of Congress.
President Petro Poroshenko will visit Washington on Sept. 18.
Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told Boehner in their letter that it’s “critically important for every Member of Congress to hear from Ukraine’s President at this defining moment for not only Ukraine, but for Russia and the post-Cold War international order.”
“Earlier this year, the Ukrainian people surprised the world when they came together and stood their ground in Maidan Square in the face of violence and tyranny, in order to defend their beliefs and the very sovereignty of their nation against corrupt leaders who had abandoned the will of the people and the interests of their nation,” Menendez and Corker wrote. “Today, with a newly elected democratic government in office, and having chosen for themselves the direction of their nation, Ukraine faces a renewed battle for its economic and political sovereignty.”
“Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, is challenging the very foundations of the security architecture that has supported peace and stability on the European continent since the end of the Cold War. President Poroshenko is on the front line of this conflict to determine the fate of Ukraine and the future of the international order.”
The senators urged to Boehner to seize “this historic moment” and “extend a hand of friendship to the Ukrainian people by inviting President Poroshenko to address a joint session of Congress and share his views on the critical situation in Ukraine.”
Menendez went to Kiev over Labor Day weekend and urged President Obama to start assisting Ukraine with much-needed military aid.
“As has been reinforced by my meetings in Estonia and Poland, it is clear that, in the case of Russia, any projection of weakness is potentially more provocative than the projection of strength,” Menendez wrote to Obama. “I am gravely concerned about President Putin’s blatant aggression in Ukraine and the risk that his imperialist ambitions may pose to our eastern NATO allies.”