Rep. Pascrell Denounces Trump Comments on Ukraine
Republican presidential nominee's comments 'irresponsible, dangerous’
Washington, DC, August 1, 2016
Tags: Homeland Security
Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), member of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and represents a large Ukrainian-American population in northern New Jersey, issued the following statement in response to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's remarks this weekend on Ukraine and its relationship with Russia.
"This past weekend we again saw that in addition to Donald Trump’s difficulties mastering simple facts, he doesn’t think twice about regurgitating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talking points on Crimea," Rep. Pascrell said. "It is simply irresponsible for Donald Trump to perpetuate the idea that the Kremlin has not violated the sovereign territory of another country by force. This runs counter to the current policies of the United States, our NATO allies, and even the Republican party’s platform. These remarks, as well as his history of cavalier compliments for autocratic strongmen like Putin and chosen advisers, demonstrate that Donald Trump would be dangerous for protecting human rights and democracy around the world. I will continue to stand in strong support of the Ukrainian people by pushing for continued sanctions and relief, as they fight against the illegal invasion of its territorial integrity.”
"The UCCA has consistently taken a unanimous stand in advocating for Ukraine’s freedom and independence," said Tamara Olexy, President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. "Thus, we are very troubled by the recent statements from Candidate Trump, that he might recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and even end sanctions against the Russian Federation. These statements run counter to the Republican Platform that explicitly states, 'We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored.' It seems that Candidate Trump has shown a reluctance to condemn Mr. Putin for his continuing war against Ukraine – a country that is currently on the frontlines of defense for Europe, America and the world."
"During his television interview with George Stephanopoulos on July 31, 2016, Donald Trump unabashedly denied Russian military presence on Ukrainian territory. All Americans of every ethnicity and political affiliation should be appalled by such reckless comments. Trump has displayed his inherent inability to observe and comprehend the reality of the historical events as they occur before his very eyes. There is no reasonable doubt that Russia has -- in full view of the entire world -- illegally annexed Crimea and it is Russian military and mercenaries who are killing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians daily on Ukrainian soil," said Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq., Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA). "The issue before us is not whether we support or oppose either political party. This crucial question is about the future of the United States. The issue is simply whether the next president of the United States will have the political foresight to comprehend the geo-political events occurring in the world and to take such steps as may be necessary to protect the United States of America. Regrettably, Donald Trump’s myopic and distorted geo-political vision of the world - as displayed during his interview – does not engender any confidence whatsoever in his ability to be commander-in-chief of the United States of America."
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.”