Portman Receives Ukrainian Community's Highest Honor
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) received the Shevchenko Freedom Award, the highest accolade awarded by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the nation’s largest representation of Ukrainians in America. The award, named after Ukraine's poet-laureate and national hero Taras Shevchenko, is awarded to individuals who have displayed a remarkable understanding and given substantial assistance to the Ukrainian American community and the Ukrainian people. Portman, a co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, has long been a leading voice in the United States’ efforts to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has pursued steadfast relations with Ukraine in recognition of its vital importance to Trans-Atlantic peace and security while persistently advocating for the United States to play a more active role in helping Ukraine stave off Russian aggression. He released the following statement:
“I am honored to receive the Ukrainian community’s highest honor from the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America for my work to support Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and friends of Ukraine across the globe. I am proud of my long-established record of support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian-American community, as well as for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. I have twice visited Ukraine, met with Ukraine President Poroshenko and other senior Ukrainian officials, and remain engaged with ongoing political, economic, and military developments. But more work remains. Twenty-five years after Ukraine gained their independence from the Soviet Union, a familiar foe is once again challenging Ukrainian sovereignty. The United States must do more to give the Ukrainian people the tools they need to defend themselves, and I will continue to urge the Obama administration to provide these pivotal measures. I look forward to continuing to work with the Ukrainian-American community in support of Ukraine.”
NOTE: Portman has been a leader in the congressional effort to increase military assistance to Ukraine to ensure it can defend its sovereign borders against escalating Russian aggression. He has twice visited Ukraine in the past two years, and has met with President Poroshenko and other senior Ukrainian officials to discuss the ongoing political, economic, and military developments. As co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, Portman is committed to strengthening the political, military, economic and cultural relationship between the United States and Ukraine.