Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. departed for a two-day trip to Ukraine on Thursday evening.
below, from Durbin….
DURBIN TRAVELS TO UKRAINE Trip to Focus on Political Upheaval and Regional Security Issue [Washington, D.C.] – Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) is on two-day trip to Ukraine where he will hold high-level meetings on regional political dynamics and security issues. The delegation, led by Senator Durbin and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), will also include Senators Murphy (D-CT), Flake (R-AZ), Whitehouse (D-RI), Barrasso (R-WY), Hoeven (R-ND) and Johnson (R-WI). Durbin will travel to Kiev, for meetings with the interim Ukrainian government, including Acting President Turchynov, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Defense Minister Tenukah, and other senior Cabinet officials. They’ll discuss the current political situation in Ukraine following the Ukrainian Parliament’s ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych and regional security issues following the Russian occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. Durbin will also meet with Ukrainian political party leaders, democracy activists and civil society groups. Durbin also meet with US embassy officials. Before leaving, Durbin spoke about his trip on the Senate floor. . . . Durbin has been a leading supporter of democracy movements in Ukraine. He visited the country in 2012 to support opposition groups and urge the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. This week, a Durbin-authored bipartisan resolution supporting Ukrainian democracy movements and condemning the Russian occupation of Crimea unanimously passed the Senate. Due to security concerns, a detailed itinerary will not be released. Durbin will return to Illinois on Sunday. In addition to being the second-highest ranking member of the United States Senate, Durbin sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is the Chairman of the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on European Affairs which has jurisdiction over matters concerning the continent of Europe, including the Caucasus. Its responsibilities include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.