(New York) - A special Ukrainian Historical Encounters Series entitled “Ukraine at 25: A December 1st Remembrance”, was held at the Shevchenko Scientific Society, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the December 1st national referendum, during which more than 91% of Ukraine’s electorate voted to confirm Ukraine’s August 24th declaration of independence.

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Ukrainian-Americans are united in their support for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. As Americans, we believe that a democratic and independent Ukraine is in the national security interests of the United States. With a new administration looking to take a fresh approach to foreign policy, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, has reached out to President-elect Trump with a letter of congratulations urging him to fortify relations with Ukraine while reinforcing international principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Towards this goal, we urge policy-makers of both national parties to move forward with the following actions:

v The United States, together with the EU, needs to communicate a unified, steadfast and explicit commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and self-determination. The territorial integrity of Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders cannot be negotiated. As such:

We reject any form of recognition of Russian rule over Crimea;

We demand the immediate withdrawal of covert and overt Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine;

v Today, Europe’s largest country – Ukraine – is on pace to field Europe’s largest military, with spending levels exceeding NATO’s minimum requirements. Furthermore, Ukraine already stands as the only non-NATO partner to have contributed actively to all NATO-led operations and missions for the past 20 years. As such:

In addition to living up to its public and binding security guarantees to Ukraine, the United States should further develop this existing military relationship as a buffer against rogue nations threatening the collective security order;

The United States should provide Ukraine with defensive equipment, services, and training as already authorized by Congress (H.R. 5859, enacted on December 18, 2014), in order to counter offensive weapons and reestablish Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;

With U.S. support, a democratic, independent Ukraine can be the stabilizing partner the United States has been seeking to decrease U.S. international deployments as Europe’s pro-democratic East steps up to repay the faith invested in them;

Support NATO’s “Open Door” policy of membership for aspiring qualified CEE countries;

v The Russian Federation’s aggressive behavior poses a threat to the national security of the U.S., as it acts to demolish the Euro-Atlantic community’s unity and destabilize countries on its periphery. As such:

The United States, together with the EU, must maintain and strengthen targeted economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, including a possible ban on SWIFT banking, until it fully complies with its international obligations, including the Budapest Memorandum and Minsk agreement.

Support the creation of a Center for Information Analysis and Response, which would lead and coordinate the collection and analysis of information on foreign government information warfare efforts (S. 2692 and H.R.5181).

Freeze the assets of and deny visas to elite Russians suspected of money laundering or involvement in the actions against Ukraine.

PARMA, OH – On Thursday, November 3rd, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) met with representatives of Ohio’s Nationalities communities. The meeting which was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Czech, Slovenian, Serbian, German, Slovak, Romanian, Italian, Macedonian and Lebanese communities was organized and chaired by UCCA President - Andriy Futey.

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