Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the recent escalation of violence in Ukraine between protestors and Ukrainian police forces.
“I strongly condemn the escalation of violence in Kyiv, which earlier today resulted in the deaths of several protestors. I call on all sides to refrain from further physical conflict and to take immediate steps to deescalate tensions. While I deplore the fact that a small group of individuals has rejected the spirit of peace, which until now has defined the protests, the government of Ukraine bears ultimate responsibility for the current dire situation. It has so far refused to engage in substantive discussions with the opposition and last week introduced a set of undemocratic measures to restrict civil liberties.”
“I applaud the U.S. government's decision to revoke the visas of those responsible for the violence. Those who authorize or engage in violence must understand that there will be personal consequences for their actions, and Congress, in tandem with the Administration, will continue to explore additional sanctions in order to help defend the fundamental rights of the citizens of Ukraine. I also continue to urge all parties to commit to peaceful dialogue in order to find a resolution to the political crisis, which reaffirms Ukraine’s democratic future.”