Jul 08 2022

Graham, Blumenthal Visit to Ukraine, Meet With President Zelenskyy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement after visiting Ukraine and meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

“We arrived in Kyiv believing our resolution calling on the Secretary of State to designate Putin’s Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism was important but we come back to the United States believing the resolution is essential. We were honored to meet with President Zelenskyy and had a long, thorough and candid discussion about the way forward. Putin has made one of the most significant military blunders in modern Russian history and we cannot forgive or forget the atrocities the Russian armed forces, at his direction, have and are continuing to commit.”

“We were struck by the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people in the face of such unprovoked inhumanity. Kyiv is a thriving city whose people are returning. In the fall, their children will go back to school as fighting continues in the east and south. America must continue to stand with them by providing the advanced air defense, artillery, ammunition, anti-mine, and medical equipment they need. This material is a good investment, not only in Ukraine’s sovereignty and freedom, but in the national security of all freedom-loving nations across the globe.” 

“We must also continue to support and highlight the successful insurgency effort in the east. Walking the hallowed ground of Bucha, where there is still evidence of mass graves, it is clear as day that Putin will not stop with Ukraine but will seek to continue threatening western democracy and the free market world. We join with our European allies, and other democracies across the globe, and encourage further sanctions and economic embargoes to cut off Russia’s ability to wage this war.”

“After our meeting with the Minister of Interior and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, we are more committed than ever to supporting the International Criminal Court and the Ukrainian justice system to prosecute the high numbers of war crimes. The rule of law must prevail here.”

“The battlefield is just one element of the fight—we must go after Putin and his oligarchs for the war crimes and genocide committed in Ukraine. Designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism labels them as the pariah nation that they are – recognizing Putin’s inhumanity and giving sanctions real teeth.

“Democrats and Republicans continue to stand with Ukraine and democracy.”

During their visit to Kyiv, Blumenthal and Graham presented President Zelenskyy with a copy of the resolution they have introduced to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. They also visited Bucha, the Kyiv suburb where Russian forces reportedly killed hundreds of innocent civilians.    

A readout of the meeting from President Zelenskyy’s office can be found here.