On July 9, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on "Russia and Developments in Ukraine." In her testimony, Assistant Secretary Nuland focused on two key pillars of U.S. policy, including support for Ukraine as it tackles urgent political, economic, and security challenges; and diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis and to encourage Russia to end support for separatists.
Assistant Secretary Nuland said, "...[T]he United States is supporting Ukraine in its hour of need. We have stepped up our security assistance...[T]he most lasting antidote to separatism and outside interference over the medium term is for Ukraine to succeed as a democratic, free market state, and to beat the back the corruption, dependence and external pressure that have thwarted Ukrainians’ aspirations for decades.
"...We are now working with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and their team to direct $59 million to efforts in four target areas: support for economic growth and reform; counter corruption; energy diversification and efficiency; and constitutional reform and national unity."
The Assistant Secretary continued, "...As we support Ukraine economically, we have also worked in lock-step with the Ukrainian government and our European allies and partners to try to de-escalate tensions with Russia and Russian-backed separatists...[W]e have supported the Ukrainian government’s offers to address the legitimate concerns of eastern Ukrainians and Russian speakers by political means, and to offer an off-ramp to separatists and their Russian backers."
Assistant Secretary Nuland concluded, "...As the President has said, we will judge Russia by its actions, not its words. Russia has made too many commitments at the diplomatic table over the past four months that have been rendered hollow by the weapons, cash and fighters that continue to flow across the border to fuel the fight in eastern Ukraine. In response, the U.S. and Europe have imposed repeated rounds of sanctions to increase the cost Russia pays for its choices. And we are ready to impose more costs -- including targeted sector-specific sanctions -- very soon if Russia does not decisively change course and break its ties with separatists.
"...Ukraine’s success or failure in its struggle for peace, reconciliation and human dignity will impact the future of the whole region, and with it, the prospect of achieving America’s 20-year objective of a Europe whole, free and at peace. We therefore continue to have a profound national interest in supporting the people of Ukraine in their quest for a more stable, democratic and prosperous future. In this effort, we deeply appreciate Congress’ bipartisan attention and support."
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