Sen. Dan Sullivan came home to Alaska last weekend to speak to a congregation of Ukrainian Alaskans on Sunday, and he brought them a message that was both sobering and hopeful. Using a translator at New Chance Church in Anchorage, he said he believes the situation in Ukraine, now under siege by Russia, will get worse before it gets better.
Introduced to the congregation by Anchorage Community Development Authority Executive Director Mike Robbins, Sullivan said he is offering his constituent relations staff to the Ukrainian settlers and their families in Alaska to help their relatives in Ukraine get to safety if they are not able to fight for their homeland. Those who are in America now, he said, will be able to stay here under safe haven provisions. He encouraged those who have relatives or who are refugees from Ukraine to let his office know, so he can get them the paperwork to start a case file and get whatever help is available for their relatives.
Sullivan told the congregation that he had been on a Zoom call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, along with 300 lawmakers on Saturday, hearing about the need for the United States and other countries to immediately stop buying Russian oil and gas, and the importance of cutting off banking for Russia.
Zelenskyy is calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but not one that involves U.S.-manned planes. He wants older fighter aircraft transferred from Poland to Ukraine, so Ukraine can enforce its own no-fly zone; those are aircraft that Ukrainians can fly. Poland can be sent a new fleet of jets, Zelenskyy argued, agreeing that it would be a dangerous development for for Russians and Americans to be fighting directly. Zelenskyy also urged the U.S. to revoke most-favored-nation trade status for Russia.
Sullivan said that since he became Alaska’s senator in 2015, he has been pushing for more military equipment to Ukraine so it can defend itself.