John McCain, Chris Murphy Travel to Kyiv

Senator McCain to Speak at the Council on Thursday

Wednesday, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement condemning the use of violence by Ukrainian authorities against peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv, Ukraine. His statement ended with:

“Those brave men and women should know that they are not alone. Their friends across the world stand in solidarity with them. We will keep the world’s attention on Ukraine’s struggle for freedom, justice, and opportunity, and we will demand consequences for any crimes perpetrated against Ukrainians who are peacefully exercising their fundamental human rights.”

Friday, McCain got on a plane for Kyiv. The senator is the highest-ranking US official to visit Ukraine during this crisis. Brian Rogers, spokesman for McCain told The Daily Beast on Friday, “Senator McCain is traveling to Ukraine to meet with government officials, opposition leaders and civil society at this critical time as Ukrainians work to determine their future.”

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who chairs the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, and three subcommittee members, Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), put forth a resolution (full text below) to show the Senate stands with the Ukrainian people as they call for closer alignment with the European Union, especially in the face of the violence from their government. The resolution goes to far as to call for sanctions against those responsible for any further acts of violence against the peaceful demonstrators. The Senators said, “It’s unacceptable that these peaceful demonstrations are being met with aggressive resistance and even violence by the Yanukovych government. This resolution makes clear that further violence by the government will have consequences for our bilateral relationship. Hopefully President Yanukovych will realize that his government will ultimately need to move in the direction its people want to succeed in the future.”

Senator Murphy leaves Sunday to join Senator McCain in Kyiv. Upon his return to the US, Senator McCain will give his first public remarks on the situation in Ukraine at the Atlantic Council. The event will be Thursday at the Council’s headquarters and will be open to the public and press. Click here for details.