WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement after his first meeting with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, the first one-on-one meeting with an ambassador to the United States since becoming Chair of the full Committee.
“Monday marked 600 days since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a heinous campaign of aggression marked by countless Russian strikes on Ukrainian civilians. Just yesterday, Russian forces committed their latest atrocity by firing a missile into an apartment building in Zaporizhzhia, killing at least five innocent civilians as they slept peacefully in their homes and burying them under the rubble. The Ukrainian people’s extraordinary resilience in protecting their homeland, passion for strengthening their democracy even amidst a war for national existence, and humanity towards the rest of the world continues to inspire me on a daily basis.
“Today, I told Ambassador Markarova I will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to fight for freedom, including through negotiating closely with Senate leadership and colleagues across the aisle on a supplemental appropriations package in support of Ukraine and other democratic partners under threat. I will also continue to advocate for President Biden to provide Ukraine the critical weapons it needs to defend its people on the frontlines of democracy for everyone in the free world.
“The American people continue to support Ukraine in overwhelming numbers, and I will continue to make the case that supporting Ukraine is indisputably in our national interest. Americans and people around the world are bearing the cost of Russia’s invasion every day at the pump and at the grocery store. Not only are Americans standing for what is right by helping Ukrainians defend themselves from Russian war crimes, but we are also weakening a chief adversary, and signaling to China what it means to be a partner of the United States. Slava Ukraini.”