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Senators ask Boehner to invite Ukraine president to address Congress

The leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday asked Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden to Putin: Tough sanctions, straight talk Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' Boehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired MORE (R-Ohio) to invite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to address a joint session of Congress Sept. 18.

“We believe that it is critically important for every Member of Congress to hear from Ukraine’s President at this defining moment for not only Ukraine, but for Russia and the post-Cold War international order,” Committee Chairman Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 Bottom line The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE (D-N.J.) and Ranking Member Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFox News inks contributor deal with former Democratic House member Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 MORE (R-Tenn.) wrote in a letter.

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Poroshenko will already be in Washington to meet with President Obama at the White House on Sept. 18, which is when the two lawmakers asked Boehner to schedule an address.

Menendez and Corker explained that Poroshenko is directly involved in the conflict with Russia, which they said could decide Ukraine’s fate and redefine international standards.

“At this historic moment, we urge you to extend a hand of friendship to the Ukrainian people by inviting President Poroshenko to address a joint session of Congress and share his views on the critical situation in Ukraine,” they said.

The letter was released just a few days after Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists signed a cease-fire agreement to halt months of fighting. The deal still appeared to be in place as of Sunday.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye was the last foreign leader to address a joint session of Congress, during a May 2013 visit.