U.S. Rep. Trahan, Back From Bipartisan Eastern Europe Visit, Says More U.S. Help is Needed

U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan and Stephen Lynch meet with Massachusetts servicemembers with the 82nd_Airborne. (Courtesy photograph.)

U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan and Stephen Lynch at Siret Border Crossing. (Courtesy photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan, who was part of a nearly weeklong bipartisan tour of allied nations bordering war-torn Ukraine, said Friday $13.6 billion in U.S. humanitarian and military assistance won’t be enough.

Trahan and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch are members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation that returned Friday from a trip to Poland, Romania and Moldova, which included a step on Ukrainian soil. They joined U.S. Reps. Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican; Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat; Jake LaTurner, a Kansas Republican; and Pat Fallon, a Texas Republican.

“This trip has shown in the starkest terms what many of us feared—the devastation and refugee crisis caused by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war is going to continue getting worse before it gets better,” said Trahan. “The defense and humanitarian aid we’ve provided is vital, but it cannot be the end of our support for the Ukrainian people. We stand with Ukraine, and we wholeheartedly support our Moldovan, Romanian and Polish allies working around the clock to help them as well.”

Upon arriving in Warsaw, Poland for the first leg of the trip, Trahan met with Polish and Ukrainian nonprofits helping spearhead the humanitarian response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including refugee assistance. The meeting was followed by a visit to Torwar Refugee Assistance Center where Ukrainians fleeing violence are being assisted by Polish authorities actively working to help the more than 1.7 million refugees who have crossed into the country already.

At the Przemyśl Train Station Border Entry Point, not far from Lviv, Trahan spoke with a number of Ukrainians about their experience fleeing the violence. The group also met with American servicemembers, including members of the 82nd Airborne Division, and government officials.

In Romania for the second leg of the trip, the group traveled to MK Air Base where they met with commanders of U.S. and NATO forces, and greeted American servicemembers deployed to the NATO nation. In Bucharest, the lawmakers met with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă and other officials and reaffirm the United States’ commitments to Romania and NATO allies.

The delegation then traveled to the Siret Border Crossing Point, where lawmakers stood on Ukrainian soil in support of Ukrainians and refugees crossing the border.

For the third and final leg of the trip, the delegation visited Moldova. The lawmakers met with Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita and visited the Palanca border crossing point.

On the way home, Trahan, Lynch and Green stopped in Vienna where they met with leaders of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency is currently working to negotiate a framework agreement to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear plants, especially after Russia’s seizure of Chernobyl and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

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