Thursday, May 19 — Today, Virginia’s U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Tim Kaine, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement after voting to pass a $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine:
“Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine underscores the importance of democracies around the world sticking together to stand against authoritarians who violate international law and commit war crimes. Today’s vote is another powerful signal that the United States is committed to that principle, and we’re going to keep working to ensure that we remain a very strong ally of Ukraine.”
Senator Kaine has been a consistent advocate for both directing assistance to Ukraine and ensuring Americans aren’t complicit in Russia’s unjustified war. Kaine was one of the first members of Congress to call for a war crimes investigation into Russia’s actions, and applauded International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement that he would launch such an investigation. To ensure that the United States is doing its part in a coordinated effort to collect and maintain evidence of Russia’s war crimes and atrocities, Kaine teamed up with a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce the Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act.
Behind the scenes and in public, Chairman Warner has been a strong advocate for the $5 billion in food aid included in this bill to support non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have been working since day one to address the dire humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among other efforts, Chairman Warner has also pushed to ensure the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Russia. Earlier this year, he introduced legislation with a group of lawmakers aimed at preventing Russian oligarchs from using digital currencies to avoid the full brunt of the sanctions.