WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) released the following statement regarding developments in Ukraine:
“We welcome reports of today’s truce between the government and opposition in Ukraine and hope that the Ukrainian government will use this opportunity wisely. The people of Ukraine have made it clear that they will not tolerate the government’s assault on their fundamental human rights, and we urge the government to take concrete steps to address the legitimate demands of its people and meet democratic standards.
“We strongly condemn the Ukrainian government’s aggressive crackdown on journalists and protesters and its violent attempts to suppress demonstrations. While we regret that some protesters have resorted to violent measures that are inconsistent with the peaceful character of the Euro-Maidan movement, the responsibility for the growing political crisis in Ukraine lies squarely with the government's heavy-handed tactics and undemocratic actions. The unfortunate reality is that the Ukrainian government has consistently failed to engage in meaningful dialogue with the opposition, and its attempt to forcibly end the protests through the passage of anti-democratic legislation and a deepening crackdown is only escalating the crisis.
“We commend the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for its decision to revoke the visas of several Ukrainian officials responsible for past acts of violence against peaceful demonstrators. However, now more than ever, the deteriorating situation in Ukraine calls for stronger leadership at the highest levels in the United States and Europe. As the Ukrainian government shows an increasing disregard for the rights of its citizens, and as its tactics against peaceful protesters become more brutal, we believe additional measures are now necessary to hold Ukrainian officials accountable, ensure that basic human rights are protected, and clarify the choice for those with power and influence in Ukraine about what future they seek for their country.”