Rep. Pascrell Statement on Ukraine Lethal Arms Sales
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) issued the following statement in response to a report that the Trump Administration has approved lethal arms sales to Ukraine. Pascrell is member of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and represents a large Ukrainian-American population in northern New Jersey.
"As an original sponsor of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which authorized the Administration to sell defensive lethal arms to Ukraine, I know this decision was long overdue. Ukrainian forces will start to receive the support needed to push back against specific threats from ongoing Russian aggression," Rep. Pascrell said. "With news reports of increased aggression by Russian backed forces in Ukraine, I know our ally in Ukraine will see this as a welcomed first step. However, I hope it is not the last. We cannot give our allies in Ukraine false hope by signaling our support in their fight with our left hand and trying to cozy up to the leader of Russia with our right."
In December 2014, following Russia's incursion in Ukraine, Rep. Pascrell joined a group of bipartisan colleagues in introducing the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-272), which provided additional assistance to Ukraine in the forms of humanitarian, energy and defense, while imposing additional sanctions on the Russian Federation. This bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2014. This bill passed both chambers of Congress unanimously makes it “the policy of the United States to further assist the Government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity to deter the Government of the Russian Federation from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.”