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Pascrell Lauds Invitation For
Ukrainian President To Address Congress

WASHINGTON, DC (September 10. 2014) – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, lauded the announcement that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will address a Joint Session of Congress on September 18th. Last week, Rep. Pascrell joined his colleagues on the House Ukrainian Caucus in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to invite President Poroshenko to address Congress during his expected visit to the U.S. later this month.

“By welcoming President Poroshekno before a Joint Session, Congress is taking an important step in strengthening the relationship between our countries, particularly during these difficult times,” said Rep. Pascrell. “On the heels of aggression from Russian-backed separatists, it’s critical the Ukrainian people know that the United States stands with them. This Joint Session will provide an important opportunity for Congress to explore the best ways to further support the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I thank House leadership for extending this invitation to President Poroshenko, and urge them to act on the Ukraine Security Assistance Act so the Ukrainian military has a means to defend themselves and to also serve as a deterrent to future aggression.”

In a letter to House leadership, Pascrell urged Speaker Boehner to act on the Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014 (H.R. 5190), legislation Rep. Pascrell helped introduce that would 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. Rep. Pascrell represents a large Ukrainian-American population in northern New Jersey, which he has met with numerous times as tensions continued to escalate in Ukraine.

The full text of the letter follows:


September 10, 2014

The Honorable John Boehner
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510


The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510


Dear Mr. Speaker, Madam Minority Leader, Mr. Majority Leader, and Mr. Minority Leader,

Ukraine’s President Petro O. Poroshenko is expected to visit Washington, D.C. in September 2014. Given the importance of our relationship with Ukraine and the ongoing crisis there, we respectfully ask you to invite President Poroshenko to address a Joint Session of Congress.

Ukraine faces a pivotal moment in its history, and the United States is an important partner in Ukraine’s struggle against Russia aggression. From the beginning of the current crisis in Ukraine, the United States has supported the Ukrainian people in their aspirations toward democracy. In the face of an existential threat from Russia, it is more important than ever that the United States and our NATO partners support Ukraine. A joint session with President Poroshenko will show Congressional support for Ukraine while informing Congress of the best ways that we can support the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.

We hope you will extend an invitation to President Poroshenko. Such a gesture will help to deepen and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Ukraine.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.