U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, joined with other Members of Congress this week to introduce the Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014 (H.R. 5190), legislation to authorize the President to work with the Government of Ukraine to assess that country's military, intelligence, and security needs and provide adequate and necessary assistance to protect Ukrainian democracy and sovereignty.
"The people of Ukraine have suffered for too long at the hands of pro-Russian separatists, who continue to threaten stability and security in the region," said Rep. Pascrell. "With mounting evidence that Russia is supporting the separatists, including those that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, it's time for the United States to stand with the Ukrainian people by providing the support they need to protect their sovereignty and build a stronger democracy. This bipartisan legislation is an important step towards reaffirming the United States' commitment to helping the people of Ukraine defend themselves and preserve their territorial integrity."
The Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014, introduced yesterday by the co-Chairs of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Sandy Levin (D-MI), would provide a clear and specific process to provide direct military and security assistance to the Government of Ukraine as it seeks to strengthen its democracy and prevent separatist violence and aggression within its borders.
This bipartisan legislation would reinforce the strong relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine and take an important step toward helping Ukraine neutralize the military-support advantage that separatist rebels are using to target civilian and military aircraft in eastern Ukraine and foster violence and instability across that country. H.R. 5190 also calls on President and the Secretary of State to increase defense cooperation between the U.S. Armed Forces and the armed forces of Ukraine.
Rep. Pascrell's represents a large Ukrainian-American population in northern New Jersey, which he has met with numerous times as tensions continued to escalate in Ukraine. Rep. Pascrell also recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 along with the escalating violence in Ukraine.