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Statement by Ohio Governor John Kasich Congratulating Ukraine on 24 Years of Freedom and Independence

August 23, 2015


Repeats Call for U.S. to Provide Ukraine Defensive Arms

Today Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich congratulated the people of Ukraine as they celebrate their 24th Independence Day tomorrow, and pledged to work with them so they have many, many more to come.

Kasich issued the following statement:

"I congratulate the people of Ukraine, the one million Americans of Ukrainian heritage and your friends and supporters around the world on 24 years of independence for Ukraine. Ukraine has come so far in a short time and I share the pride I know you feel.

"Strong U.S. support for Ukraine is critically important, especially as we see the country that feels 'threatened' by a strong, Western-looking Ukraine trying to undermine it—by proxies and even direct intervention. That is unacceptable. The repeated violations of the Minsk ceasefire protocols must stop, efforts to erode the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine must stop and Crimea and Donbas must be returned to Ukraine.

"In response to these challenges to Ukraine's independence, and the fact that Russia continues to arm forces hostile to Ukraine, the United States must do everything in its power to provide Ukraine with the means to defend itself. Congress gave the President the authority help arm Ukraine—by large bipartisan majorities— but its requests to the U.S. for help have been denied. The Obama Administration has even gone a step further and prohibited the sale of the defensive weapons systems Ukraine urgently needs.

"This must stop and we must help Ukraine protect its independence. That means providing the anti-tank, anti-aircraft and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems it needs.

"The hostilities must end and all parties must do what they have promised. The restoration of Crimea and Donbas to their rightful places as part of Ukraine must be negotiated in a way that's acceptable to all parties. I reject any attempt to resolve the conflict bilaterally or multilaterally without the full participation of the Ukrainian government.

"The Ukrainian independence we celebrate today is an important fact, and the United States has a moral obligation to help protect it. Congratulations on your freedom Ukraine—may there be a thousand more days just like this one. Slava Ukrayini! Heroyam Slava!"

John Kasich, Statement by Ohio Governor John Kasich Congratulating Ukraine on 24 Years of Freedom and Independence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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