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Golden joins bipartisan lawmakers urging Biden to provide more aid to Ukraine

Joe Biden
Andrew Harnik
/
AP
President Joe Biden announces that along with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries, the U.S. will move to revoke "most favored nation" trade status for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington.

Maine Congressman Jared Golden has joined more than a dozen other representatives in urging President Biden to quickly provide more military supplies as well as humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

In a letter sent Friday, the 15 members of Congress urged the White House to supply Ukrainian forces with more Stinger missiles and other anti-aircraft systems. The group also asked the Biden administration to facilitate the transfer of Soviet-made jets and unmanned drones to Ukraine. Poland has offered to transfer jets to NATO for subsequent transfer to Ukraine but the Pentagon rejected the plan as too risky because of possible Russian retaliation against Poland or other NATO allies.

“Despite heroic and skillful resistance by Ukrainian forces, Russia currently retains air superiority over Ukraine,” the group wrote to Biden. “Russia’s advantage in this domain could soon develop into air dominance if the Ukrainians do not receive necessary military aid. We believe that Stinger missiles will continue to be critical in combating Russia’s superiority in the air. With Russia’s alarming disregard for Ukrainian civilian casualties, the U.S. must also help supply more comprehensive air defense systems to defend Ukraine and its people.”

The members of Congress also expressed support for sanctions on Chinese banks or businesses that still engage with Russia, saying such secondary sanctions would help “ensure that Russia is unable to find a means of offsetting its exclusion from U.S. and European markets and banking systems.”

A Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Golden is a Democrat who represents Maine's 2nd Congressional District. Like most members of Congress and the Biden administration, he has opposed committing U.S. military forces to the defense of Ukraine – or establishing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine – because of the distinct possibility of sparking a broader war with nuclear-armed Russia. But he and other members of Maine’s delegation support expanding the amount of lethal aid provided to Ukrainian forces.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, also signed onto a letter earlier this week with two of her Senate colleagues urging Biden to allow the transfer of Soviet-made MiG jets from Poland to Ukraine. In exchange, the U.S. would likely expedite the shipment of American-made jets to Poland to replace the MiGs.