The Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN) is in the process of meeting with Members of Congress, relevant congressional staff and Executive Branch officials to present their Priority Recommendations for U.S. Assistance to Ukraine 2020.
As in the case of the FOUN earlier recommendations, meetings are scheduled to promote the recommendations and available members of FOUN attend and make the FOUN case. In addition, there are any number of offices where it becomes most effective for one-on-one meetings and many of the recommendations end up being distributed that way.
Recently several meetings have taken place all of which have been reassuring in saying the historical bipartisan support for legislation supporting Ukraine is holding and so far committees continue to work well on issues related to Ukraine.
Members of all three of FOUN’s task forces had excellent meetings with Ranking Member Congressman Mike McCaul’s (R-TX) knowledgeable Republican staff on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ranking Member Jack Reed’s (D-RI) excellent Democratic staff of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and with Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment.
The continuing bipartisan congressional support is specifically evidenced, for example, in the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2020. Among other things the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative has been increased to $300 million on a bipartisan basis. And, this includes lethal weapons and new authorities for coastal and anti-ship weapons, both of which were strong FOUN recommendations. Also included are specific sanctions that are directed at the construction of Nord Stream II.
FOUN’s meetings continue and we at the Foundation remain gratified by the time and effort the experts on Ukraine involved with FOUN continue to devote to the effort.
Photo at top of page (from left): Robert A. McConnell, Amb. John Herbst, Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA), Orest Deychakiwsky, Anders Aslund and Jaroslaw Dutkewych.