Ukraine’s Political Crisis (Rep. Alcee Hastings)
As Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, I, along with my Co-Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer am leading a Congressional delegation to Kyiv, Ukraine this recess. We are attending the 16th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. Our trip comes at a time of great political uncertainty for Ukraine.
Upon our arrival, I along with Senator Cardin, House Majority Leader Hoyer, as well as U.S. Helsinki Commissioners Representatives Robert B. Aderholt, G.K. Butterfield, Mike McIntyre, Louise McIntosh Slaughter, and Hilda L. Solis as well as Representatives Marcy Kaptur, Doris Matsui, Michael McNulty and Gwen Moore held direct talks with President Viktor Yushchenko in an effort to discuss the political situation in Ukraine.
It was clear from our meeting that the state of affairs here remains unsettled. And while the situation is not resolved, it is important to note an agreement has been reached, which I welcome. The May 27 agreement resolves this political crisis through pre-term parliamentary elections scheduled for September 30, and it is my sincere hope that this very important accord is honored and implemented.While our trip has come at a critical time in Ukrainian history, our message is clear. The people of Ukraine deserve to participate in free and fair elections and must be assured that the integrity of their democratic process continues to be preserved and protected.