The Honorable Thad Cochran, Chairman,        

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. Senate

Washington, D.C., 20510 


 The Honorable Barbara Mikulski

Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. Senate                           

Washington, D.C., 20510


The Honorable Hal Rogers


Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C., 20515                           


The Honorable Nita Lowey

Ranking Member 

Committee on Appropriations

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C., 20515

Dear Chairman Cochran, Ranking Member Mikulski, Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Lowey: 

We write today as individuals with deep expertise on Ukraine, many of us former Ambassadors or officials in Democratic and Republican Administrations, to urge an expansion of U.S. assistance to Ukraine as part of the final negotiations on fiscal year 2016 appropriations.  

On the Maidan in Kyiv, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians stood up for their country's European future in the face of bitter winter weather and heavily armed police who killed more than 100 protesters.  In the year and a half since, Ukraine has made important progress on several fronts, including holding free and fair national and local elections, instituting political, economic and governance reforms, and negotiating a landmark debt renegotiation.  But as Ukrainians have worked to create a new, Western-looking government, they have been confronted with a multi-front war from Russia that continues to threaten Ukraine's sovereignty and independence. 

The support that America has provided to Ukraine since 2014 has been vital in providing a foundation for the people of Ukraine to build the vibrant democracy that they demand and deserve.  But Ukraine's stability and its sovereign role in a united Europe remain under siege.  Accordingly, we believe a redoubling of assistance from America and our European allies is vital at this time.  We urge Congress in the final FY 2016 funding negotiations to increase U.S. assistance and support by providing:

  • $3 billion in macro-economic assistance: tools include loan guarantees, direct budget support grants, or debt swaps as well as assistance to support reforms in key sectors, such as banking, judiciary, and energy, and to encourage investment in Ukraine.
  • $1 billion in military equipment and training support, including defensive lethal assistance as authorized by the Ukraine Freedom Support Act.
  • A minimum of $200 million in additional immediate humanitarian aid to meet the funding gap identified by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as Ukraine grapples with 1.5 million internally displaced persons.
  • Increased resources to assist Ukraine in countering Russia's massive disinformation campaign.

The potential for a prosperous and democratic Ukraine is limitless.  With strong U.S. support, an independent and free Ukraine can thrive as a democracy in the heart of Europe. 

Moscow's ambitions go beyond imposing its will on Ukraine.  It is in our national interest to stop Kremlin aggression in Ukraine and to demonstrate the falsity of the Russian narrative equating democracy and reform with chaos.  We urge action on an expanded assistance package to help Ukraine achieve this bright future. 

Thank you for your consideration of our views. 


William Danvers, former Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD and former Deputy Staff Director, U.S. Department of State

Amb. Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs

Senator Chris Dodd, former Member of the U.S. Senate (D-CT), former Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission

Amb. Eric Edelman, former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Finland

Michele Flournoy, former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Amb. Mark Green, former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-WI)

Amb. William Green Miller, former U.S. Ambassador Ukraine (1993-1998)

Amb. John Herbst, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (2003-2006)

Barry Jackson, former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House

David Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Amb. Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Gen. David H. Petraeus, KKR Global Institute Chairman and former, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, former Commander U.S. Central Command

Amb. Roman Popadiuk, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (1992-1993)

Stephen Rickard, Executive Director of the Open Society Policy Institute

Adml. James Stavridis (USN, Ret.), former Commander U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Amb. Melanne Verveer, former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues

Amb. Kurt Volker, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

Gen. Charles F. Wald (USAF, Ret.), former Deputy Commander of the U.S. European Command

Kenneth R. Weinstein, President & CEO, Hudson Institute 


The Honorable Lindsey Graham, Chairman, Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee

The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member, Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee


The Honorable Kay Granger, Chairwoman, House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee