WASHINGTON – The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), which monitors positions and statements made throughout every election cycle concerning U.S. foreign policy, has submitted a position paper titled “United States Relations with Ukraine” to the Democratic and Republican National Committees.
The UCCA’s monitoring of U.S. policy has become imperative given the ongoing war being waged against Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
In past election cycles, UCCA representatives had reached out to both the Democratic and Republican parties in advance of their respective conventions and the general election to promote awareness and support of the benefits of the strategic partnership that exists between the United States and Ukraine.
While the current coronavirus pandemic has dampened physical meetings with relevant platform committees and national campaigns, it hasn’t dissuaded the UCCA from continued opportunities for interaction.
On behalf of the Ukrainian American community, the UCCA submitted a position paper to both the Democratic and Republican National Committees, highlighting the importance of continuing crucial assistance to the Ukrainian nation. U.S. assistance in all forms falls within the stated mission of the UCCA and its advocacy of greater U.S.-Ukraine relations.
The UCCA position paper specifically proposes the following:
— Uphold a clear, unified, steadfast, and explicit commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity by the United States and our European allies.
— Reject all forms of recognition of Russian rule over the illegally occupied Crimean peninsula by adhering to objectives explicitly stated in the Crimean Declaration of July 2018.
— Demand the immediate withdrawal of covert and overt Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine, and compliance with ceasefire agreements [prior to holding elections in the Donbas, as per the Minsk agreement].
— Expand direct military assistance, including lethal defensive arms, naval and air force support, and additional military training programs.
— Continue the “Open Door” policy for eventual NATO membership by implementing the Enhanced Opportunity Program (EOP) for Ukraine.
— Maintain and strengthen targeted economic sanctions against the Russian Federation until it fully complies with its international obligations, including the Budapest Memorandum and Minsk agreement.
— Monitor and ramp up U.S. counter-narrative objectives to the Russian propaganda operation through the already-established Global Engagement Center (GEC).
— Freeze assets of and deny visas to elite Russians suspected of money laundering or involvement in the nefarious actions against the sovereignty of Ukraine.
— Enhance the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership to include comprehensive support of Ukraine’s defense capacity, economic reform efforts and foreign direct investment opportunities.
The UCCA noted that the Ukrainian American community looks to the United States to not only live up to its public and binding security guarantees to Ukraine, but to further develop a shared 20-year military relationship as a buffer against rogue nations threatening the post-World War II collective security order. Therefore, the UCCA stressed that both parties should have taken a stronger position in support of military assistance to Ukraine in their platforms. Ukraine stands as the only non-NATO partner nation to have contributed actively to all NATO-led operations and missions for the past 20 years, and deserves at a minimum, the same defensive support given to other strategic allies by the United States, the UCCA underscored.
The UCCA stated that it strongly believes the security of the U.S. lies in the expansion of democracy and mutual security guarantees, not the appeasement of imperial states. U.S. support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, ensuring the non-use of force by other nuclear states, and mitigating the use of propaganda and economic coercion as hybrid weapons, can lead to the emergence of an ascendant Ukraine as a stabilizing partner for the United States in the area, alongside other frontline nations such as Poland, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The UCCA is appealing to all of its members to be active participants in American political life, regardless of their political affiliation. In an increasingly interconnected and economically interdependent world, the UCCA stated that American political parties should put forth platforms that promote international norms, defend basic human rights and freedoms, deter foreign aggression, support the territorial integrity of U.S. allies, and chart a course of geopolitical stability that is in the national security interests of the United States.