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Sen. Warner needs to hear from us.

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Here is Sen. Warner's answer to my recent letter urging him to change his position on Ukraine.

Dear Dr. Herrick,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your concerns related to Ukraine. Events there are deeply concerning.

Taking advantage of the turmoil in Ukraine, in March, 2014 Russia illegally annexed Crimea. Since then, Russia has continued its interference in Ukraine's affairs, and has been supplying increasingly sophisticated weaponry to the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine who are fighting against the Ukrainian government forces. On July 17, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine; 298 innocent lives, including one American, were lost. Evidence points to the fact that Moscow likely provided sophisticated antiaircraft weapons to those responsible for this horrific tragedy.

I believe Russia's actions are unacceptable. That is why, on March 27, 2014, the Senate passed with my support S.2124, the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014. This legislation authorizes aid to Ukraine to help the country recover from economic crisis and withstand Russian aggression. It also provides broad authority for the President to sanction individuals in Ukraine and Russia who are responsible for violence, human rights abuses, and corruption in Ukraine.

On December 11, 2014 the Senate passed with my support S.2828, the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014. This legislation expands the President's authority to sanction Russian individuals and companies, especially those tied to their energy sector. However, Russia has continued its support to the separatists, and it has continued to supply them with heavy weapons.

In last September, after extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and the separatists rebels signed an agreement to halt the fighting, but the ceasefire did not last.

In a further effort to stop the violence, on February 11, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany agreed to a new ceasefire.

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Neal Herrick is author of the award-wining After Patrick Henry (2009). His most recent book is (2014) Reversing America’s Decline. He is a former sailor, soldier, auto worker, railroad worker, assistant college football coach, (more...)

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