NJ Ukrainian Community Honors Sen. Menendez

NJ Ukrainian Community Honors Sen. Menendez

WHIPPANY, NJ – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez was honored Saturday by New Jersey’s Ukrainian community for his continued support of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. Sen. Menendez authored the Ukrainian Freedom Support Act, signed into law by the President in December 2014, which imposes additional sanctions on Russia and provides much-needed military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“Thank you for recognizing my commitment to Ukraine. I will continue to work for a western-leaning Ukraine, free of the threat of Russian dominance,” said Sen. Menendez. “At the end of the day, the firm, strong hand of American leadership is what will matter most. We need to ensure that we do all we can for the future of Ukraine.”

The Senator received the “Friend of UNIS” Award from the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America for his role and support in helping to achieve and sustain Ukraine’s independence, and for his efforts in promoting U.S.-Ukraine relations. The Ukrainian National Association also presented Sen. Menendez with a plaque and a patriotically blue and yellow Pysanka—a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg—as a token of appreciation and painted by local New Jersey artist Stephanie Hryckowian.

“You have understood from the start, that the international community, and specially the United States cannot remain passive in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, for remaining passive will only invite further aggression,” said Tamara Olexy, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, presenting Sen. Menendez with the “Friend of UNIS” Award. “Your words and promises to our community have always been followed-up by deeds. You have led and continue to lead congressional efforts to penalize Russia for its invasion and illegal occupation of Crimea and for their support of terrorists in eastern Ukraine.”

Sen. Menendez called on the Administration to fully implement measures in the Ukrainian Freedom Support Act, including providing defensive lethal weapons to Ukraine’s military to counter Russian aggression. “This legislation was necessary in December, and is even more necessary in May,” he said.

“Sen. Menendez is a champion for freedom and democracy,” stated Roma Lisovich, treasurer of the Ukrainian National Association. “Again and again, Sen. Menendez was in the forefront--Ukraine's sincere advocate in the Senate. We, the Ukrainian American community and the Ukrainian National Association, the oldest and largest membership Ukrainian-American organization in the United States, are deeply indebted for his support, leadership and commitment.”