John R. Kasich
Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for president, congratulated the people of Ukraine as they celebrate their 24th Independence Day. The text below was released on August 23 by the Kasich for America campaign. (Separately, the governor and his lieutenant governor, Mary Taylor, released the State of Ohio proclamation of Ukrainian Independence Day.)
I congratulate the people of Ukraine, the 1 million Americans of Ukrainian heritage and your friends and supporters around the world on 24 years of independence for Ukraine. Ukraine has come so far in a short time, and I share the pride I know you feel.
Strong U.S. support for Ukraine is critically important, especially as we see the country that feels “threatened” by a strong, Western-looking Ukraine trying to undermine it – by proxies and even direct intervention. That is unacceptable. The repeated violations of the Minsk ceasefire protocols must stop, efforts to erode the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must stop, and Crimea and Donbas must be returned to Ukraine.
In response to these challenges to Ukraine’s independence, and the fact that Russia continues to arm forces hostile to Ukraine, the United States must do everything in its power to provide Ukraine with the means to defend itself. Congress gave the president the authority help arm Ukraine – by large bipartisan majorities – but its requests to the U.S. for help have been denied. The Obama administration has even gone a step further and prohibited the sale of the defensive weapons systems Ukraine urgently needs.
This must stop and we must help Ukraine protect its independence. That means providing the anti-tank, anti-aircraft and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems it needs.
The hostilities must end and all parties must do what they have promised. The restoration of Crimea and Donbas to their rightful places as part of Ukraine must be negotiated in a way that’s acceptable to all parties. I reject any attempt to resolve the conflict bilaterally or multilaterally without the full participation of the Ukrainian government.
The Ukrainian independence we celebrate today is an important fact, and the United States has a moral obligation to help protect it. Congratulations on your freedom, Ukraine – may there be a thousand more days just like this one. Slava Ukrayini! Heroyam Slava!
In recognition of the 24th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for president, released the following statement. It was posted by his campaign, Walker16.
After 24 years of independence, I want to pledge unwavering support for an independent, sovereign and democratic Ukraine. Unfortunately, after unchecked Russian aggression and a lack of leadership under the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, Ukraine’s future remains unclear. Last week, Russian-backed separatists shelled civilians in eastern Ukraine, and rebel leaders declared they were preparing for a full-fledged war. As I said during the first debate earlier this month, America must provide Ukraine with the lethal military assistance needed to defend itself against Vladimir Putin’s power grab in the region.