WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate NATO Observer Group, and Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Baltic Caucus, participated in a virtual conversation on the escalating threat posed by Russia in Eastern Europe with Ambassadors from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. During the discussion, the Senators and seven colleagues stressed the importance of the NATO alliance, their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and their bipartisan commitment to countering Russian aggression in the region. Given their proximity to Ukraine and Russia and their NATO membership, coordination with these allies is key to supporting Ukraine’s military posture and its ability to defend itself while maintaining peace in the region.
King, Collins Join Bipartisan Meeting with Eastern European NATO Countries to Discuss Ukraine-Russia Crisis
Along with Senators King and Collins, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) also participated in the virtual meeting.
"Today's meeting was an important affirmation of NATO'S united resolve against Russian aggression in Ukraine – not just in the halls of Congress, but for the world to see that America supports our allies,” said Senator King. "Vladimir Putin is attempting to use disinformation tactics – one of his specialties – to accuse the United States of seeking conflict in the region, when the facts prove just the opposite. The United States, and its allies, continue to seek a peaceful resolution to the growing crisis, but NATO will not be intimidated or into ignoring Russia's efforts to infringe on Ukrainian steady. The NATO alliance continues to have strong support from the United States, including bipartisan, bicameral support in the U.S. Congress – and we will work with our allies to support Ukraine's efforts to defend its basic sovereign rights.”
“The escalating Russian military threat to Ukraine is unacceptable and risks destabilizing the entire region,” said Senator Collins. “As a member of the Senate Baltic Caucus, I appreciated the opportunity to speak with Ambassadors from Eastern Europe today about the importance of sending a strong, united message to Russia. The Baltic states and Poland have provided invaluable assistance to Ukraine so that the country can better defend itself in the event of an attack. As the situation continues to evolve on the ground, I look forward to continuing to work with our NATO allies to enhance Ukraine’s defense capabilities and counter Russian aggression.”
In addition to serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator King serves as chair of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces – which oversees the United States’ nuclear posture worldwide – and on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator King is recognized as a thoughtful voice on national security and foreign policy issues in the Senate, and in addition to his committee work, Senator King serves on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the Senate North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Observer Group, and is co-chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. He recently worked to craft and pass the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, that included significant provisions to counter the influence of Russia and China.
As a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Collins holds key positions in Congress that oversee and shape national security issues of importance to both Maine and the United States. Through her role on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has successfully secured provisions in annual defense funding bills to enhance the capabilities of our military and grow the size of our Navy fleet to deter aggressive actions by Russia and China.