Sen. Menendez Hosts Roundtable Discussion Focused on Unrest in Ukraine

Sen. Menendez Hosts Roundtable Discussion Focused on Unrest in Ukraine

NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ) yesterday joined representatives from several prominent Ukrainian-American organizations to discuss the current unrest in their homeland and explore ways the U.S. Government can help its people.

"We stand with the citizens of Ukraine who meet in Kiev's Maidan Square seeking their human rights and dignity," said Sen. Menendez.

Thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the streets in recent months to protest President Victor Yanukovich's decision not to enter into the European Union, pursuant to immense political and economic pressure from Russia, and despite public polls showing overwhelming support. In response, demonstrators have been tear gassed and beaten with batons by riot police.

"Ukrainians should be allowed to determine their own destiny," Sen. Menendez continued. "That's why I find Russia's coercive trade, treatment and economic tactics against Ukraine reprehensible.

"I look forward to pursuing this foreign policy issue before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, New Jersey has the fourth highest Ukrainian-American population with 71,894 behind New York, Pennsylvania and California.1

The Senator was joined by:

  • Tamara Olexy - President, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
  • Stefan Kaczaraj - Chairman, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
  • Roksolana Lozynskyj - Chair of External Affairs, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
  • Viktor Rud - Past Chairman, Ukrainian American Bar Association
  • Myroslaw Smorodsky - Communications Director, Ukrainian American Bar Association
  • Roma Lisovich - Treasurer, Ukrainian National Association
  • Yuriy Symczyk - Fraternal Coordinator, Ukranian National Association
  • Dmytro Lenczuk - Secretary, Ukrainian Students Association
  • Mark Howansky - Organization for Defense of Lemko Western Ukraine in America
  • Dr. Alexander J. Motyl, Ph.D. - Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University
  • Stanley Stone - Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest
  • Dr. Christine Rohowsky-Kochan, Ph.D. - PLAST Ukrainian Scouting Organization

Photo: Senator Bob Menendez meets with members of several prominent Ukrainian-American organizations.
(Click here for a hi-res version of the photo)