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English/Español: Rubio Urges President to Send Humanitarian Aid to Ukrainians Trapped by Putin’s Blockade

Mar 2, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to provide urgent food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies to Ukrainian civilians trapped by Putin’s impending strategic blockades of several Ukrainian cities.
 
“We must demonstrate the resolve and determination that America has always shown when confronted by the violent expansionism of an evil empire,” Rubio wrote. “The people of Ukraine and the world are looking to you to demonstrate this leadership.” 
 
Importantly, the letter suggests ways to deliver humanitarian assistance that would not lead to an escalation between the United States and the Russian Federation:   
 

  • Establish a de-confliction phone line between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense; 
  • Organize the airlift in cooperation with, or potentially under the auspices of, the Holy See, Israel and other countries not allied with NATO or the Russian Federation; and 
  • Consider the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to drop humanitarian supplies into Ukrainian cities, to avoid risks to the lives of American service members. 

 
Rubio is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
The Ukrainian people remain in the fight for their very survival against an unprovoked and unjustified invasion launched by Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin. While the Ukrainian resistance to this invasion has been an inspiration for free peoples around the world, it seems that Putin’s tactics are to force the Ukrainian people into submission. There are credible reports that Putin’s forces are now encircling and laying siege to major Ukrainian cities. I urge you to begin considering options to provide urgent food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies to Ukrainian civilians trapped by Putin’s attempted blockade.
 
In an address to the European Parliament yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that “all of the big cities in [Ukraine] are now blocked.” Open source intelligence has shown that Putin’s forces are aiming to encircle Kyiv, and other major cities, in Ukraine. While I acknowledge your administration’s efforts, to date, to improve supply lines into Ukraine from Poland and other neighboring countries, this alone will not prevent an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in besieged Ukrainian cities if Ukrainian forces are not able to break Russian lines.
 
As your administration considers options for delivering humanitarian assistance, any operation should be clearly and publicly communicated to the Russian Ministry of Defense in order to avoid misunderstandings. There are several other options that I believe can be pursued to ensure that Moscow is clear that a humanitarian airlift will not lead to an uncontrolled escalation of conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation. These include, but are not limited to:
 

  • Establishing a de-confliction phone line between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense;
  • Organize the airlift in cooperation with, or potentially under the auspices of, the Holy See, Israel and other countries not allied with NATO or the Russian Federation; and
  • Consider the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to drop humanitarian supplies into Ukrainian cities, to avoid risks to the lives of American service members.

 
I am cognizant that any action taken by the United States may be misconstrued by Putin as an escalation. However, Putin’s threats cannot be allowed to paralyze the world’s ability to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions. We do not seek war with Russia, but Russia should also not want a war against us. We must demonstrate the resolve and determination that America has always shown when confronted by the violent expansionism of an evil empire. The people of Ukraine, and the world, are looking to you to demonstrate this leadership.
 
I stand ready to assist the Ukrainian people in their fight for national sovereignty. I thank you in advance for your consideration of this important matter.
 
Sincerely, 
 

RUBIO INSTA AL PRESIDENTE A ENVIAR AYUDA HUMANITARIA A LOS UCRANIANOS ATRAPADOS POR EL BLOQUEO DE PUTIN
 

Washington, D.C. — El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) envió una carta al presidente Joe Biden instándolo a proporcionar alimentos, medicamentos y otros suministros humanitarios urgentes a los civiles ucranianos atrapados por los bloqueos inminentes de Vladimir Putin en varias ciudades ucranianas.
 
“Debemos demostrar la resolución y determinación que EE.UU. siempre ha demostrado cuando se enfrenta al expansionismo violento de un imperio malvado”, Rubio escribió. “El pueblo de Ucrania y el mundo esperan que ustedes muestren este liderazgo”. 
 
Es importante destacar que la carta sugiere formas para poder brindar asistencia humanitaria que no conduzcan a una escalada entre los EE.UU. y la Federación Rusa:   
 

  • Establecer una línea telefónica de resolución de conflictos entre el Departamento de Defensa de EE. UU. y el Ministerio de Defensa de Rusia; 
  • Organizar el puente aéreo en cooperación con, o potencialmente bajo los auspicios de, la Santa Sede, Israel y otros países no aliados a la OTAN o la Federación Rusa; y 
  • Considerar el uso de vehículos aéreos no tripulados para lanzar suministros humanitarios en ciudades ucranianas, para evitar el riesgo de pérdida de vidas por parte de militares estadounidenses. 

 
Rubio es el vicepresidente del Comité Selecto de Inteligencia en el Senado y miembro del Comité de Relaciones Exteriores en el Senado. 
 
El texto de la carta en inglés está aquí