SEN. R. MENENDEZ MEETS WITH NJ UKRAINIANS, ADDRESSES RUSSIA’S GROWING AGGRESSION, INTERVENTIONISM
The Senator will question Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson during confirmation hearings
On January 6, 2017, UABA representatives Victor Rud [Chairman of the UABA Foreign Relations Committee] and Myroslaw Smorodsky [UABA Communications Director] met with Sen. Robert Menendez together with other members of the Ukrainian American community. [Ronya Lozynskyj &Tamara Olexy - UCCA, and Yuriy Symczyk - UNA]. Senator Menendez (D-NJ) is the senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Ukrainian American community’s deep concerns regarding the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be the next Secretary of State and the potentially damaging impact his confirmation can have on Ukraine’s struggle to maintain its territorial integrity and independence. The Ukrainian American Bar Association respectfully submitted to the Senator proposed areas of questioning during the confirmation process of Rex Tillerson with background briefing material for the Senator’s consideration and review in preparation for the hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The briefing documents submitted by the UABA emphasized that The UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act [i.e. the charter document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and the various organic documents of the European Union, have had as their linchpin the principle of territorial integrity and security and the inviolability of borders of independent states - maintained peace and stability on the Eurasian continent for over 70 years. Moreover, twenty-two years ago, under pressure from the United States, Ukraine agreed to surrender and destroy its nuclear arsenal. All that Ukraine asked in return was to be given security assurances as to its sovereignty and territorial integrity by the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom upon its accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state. These security assurances were given on December 5, 1994 and are commonly known as the Budapest Memorandum. Based on the assurances from all the signatories and with specific reliance on these declarations by each of the signatory states, Ukraine surrendered approximately 1600 nuclear warheads. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military invasion into Eastern Ukraine constitute overt and blatant violations of these basic agreements and evidence the Kremlin’s intentional defiance of international rule of law.
Senator Menendez recognizes that if the United States fails to take any additional more meaningful and effective action in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its military invasion into Eastern Ukraine in violation of international rule of law, it would corrode and undermine America’s credibility in the international arena, destabilize Europe, and greatly fuel Russian international adventurism and expansionism. After the meeting, Senator Menendez held a media press conference.
Read Senator R. Menendez's Statement