WASHINGTON – Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) introduced H.Con.Res.189, which addresses Ukraine’s political conflict and urges its government to abide by the agreement signed on May 27th that provides for new parliamentary elections to be held on September 30th. Ukraine’s current political crisis is the result of an ongoing power struggle that President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich have been engaged in since Yanukovich became Prime Minister last August. The ongoing power struggle threatens to undermine Ukraine’ hard-fought and substantial democratic gains, especially those won since the 2004 Orange Revolution.
“This resolution underscores Congress’ staunch support for the development of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine since the restoration of its independence in 1991. The consolidation of democracy and the rule of law will further strengthen Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, while enhancing aspirations for full integration with the West and serving as a positive model for other former Soviet countries,” said Hastings.
Earlier this month, Congressman Hastings, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) led a Congressional delegation to Ukraine for the 16th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. During the trip, the delegation met with Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko and other prominent Ukrainian officials, where they received assurances that Ukraine would not backtrack on the path to political reform and good governance.
Sponsors of H.Con.Res.189 include, Representatives Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Michael R. McNulty, and Jim Gerlach (R-PA). Please find attached a copy of the resolution.