Mar 31, 2014
07:07 AMConnecticut Today
Ukrainian Parish in New Haven Gets an Update from Blumenthal
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a news conference to highlight the benefits of raising the national minimum wage at the U.S. Capitol March 27, 2014 in Washington
Members of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church gathered Sunday to hear updates on Ukraine’s future from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who was following up on a memorial service held last month for those killed in recent turmoil.
Myron Melnyk, director of the Ukrainian Studies School at St. Michael’s on George Street, spoke on behalf of the church community.
“We welcome all diplomatic efforts. We support Obama’s statement that the Ukrainian people should keep their independence. But, we’re also concerned the Ukrainian government is not involved with these diplomatic efforts,” Melnyk said.
On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Paris to discuss ongoing issues in Ukraine. (Above, Hope Langer-Marshall of Plainville cries during a memorial service in February at St. Michaels Ukrainian Church for those killed in the Ukraine; Peter Casolino-New Haven Register.)
The meeting follows President Viktor Yanukovych being forced from power in what many are calling a revolution. Legislators elected a temporary leader, fired officials loyal to Yanukovych’s government and began repealing a series of unpopular laws that had spurred weeks of unrest.
Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he “fully supports the idea of the people of Ukraine keeping their independence.”
“We are united as a delegation to protect the democracy in the Ukraine. We need to be as inclusive and honest as possible,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal discussed the direction he foresees the government moving to assist Ukraine.
“We need to tighten and strengthen our economic sanction,” Blumenthal said.
He suggested ceasing the trading of arms by the U.S. and its allies with Russia, to give Russia an incentive to change policies.