Kyiv, April 9, 2015. Ukraine Caucus at the U.S. Congress shall put its utmost effort to get the money in order to arm Ukraine in the next fiscal year starting October 1, 2015. “I will personally fight for this military assistance,” said Senator Rob Portman during the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Senator Portman expressed his support for the initiative to extend sanctions aimed at countering the Russian aggression in Ukraine, which is going to be reviewed by the end of June – early July. “Economic sanctions will stay unless Russia pulls back and respects the sovereign borders of Ukraine. Anything short of that will not be tolerated. We have to remember that sanctions have been imposed not only in response to the Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, but after the annexation of Crimea,” Senator emphasized.
As a former U.S. Trade Representative, Rob Portman highlighted the need for Ukraine to diversify its exports in order to cut its over reliance on the Russian market. There is a particular interest in Ukraine’s agriculture industry from the American businesses. On the other hand, Ukrainian authorities have to significantly improve protection of the intellectual property in order to develop productive trade relationships between the two countries.
Senator Portman has arrived with a short visit to Ukraine to meet the leaders of the country –President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the Speaker Volodymyr Groysman – as well as ministers of the interior, of the economy and the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. “I was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that I have felt in conversations with the Ukrainian political and civic leaders,” Senator Portman noted.
He emphasized the critical importance for the United States, the NATO member-states and the world to respect Ukraine’s sovereign choice in favor of economic development and political freedom.