NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Sen. James Risch introduced a resolution "expressing concern for undemocratic governance and the abuse of individual rights in Ukraine."

"The status quo cannot continue and Ukrainians must be free to chart a more hopeful future absent recrimination or repression. Ukrainians have experienced the denial of basic rights and freedoms at the hands of their own government. During this difficult period, the American public stands with the Ukrainian people in their pursuit to fulfill its democratic aspirations," Menendez said. "President Yanukovych should acknowledge the legitimate arguments of the Ukrainians gathered in the streets of Kyiv and other cities and supporta more open and transparent Ukraine that doesn't stumble from crisis to crisis."

The resolution urges the Administration to increase democracy and human rights programming to Ukraine and calls on the State Department to review the possibility of sanctions on human rights violators. It calls on the Ukrainian government to release political prisoners and supports the European Union Council on Foreign Affairs statement of February 10 which called for "a new and inclusive government, constitutional reform bringing back more balance of powers, and preparations for free and fair presidential elections would contribute to bringing Ukraine back on a sustainable path of reforms."