Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the outcome of the Ukraine-Russia war would have a “direct” influence on democracy in America while speaking at a conference in Ukraine on Friday at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Garland, the most prominent representative of the Biden administration to visit Ukraine, spoke at the “United For Justice Conference” in Lviv on Russia’s invasion of the country and an ongoing American inquiry into potential war crimes committed by the Russian government.
Garland, who did not make his attendance at the conference known in advance, said that “the largest-scale crimes in any armed conflict since the Second World War started to be committed by invading Russian soldiers just over a year ago. We’re gathered here in Ukraine today to say it loudly and clearly: Those who committed those crimes won’t get away with it.”
According to Garland, the outcome of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia will have a “direct” impact on American democracy. “The United States understands that what happens here in Ukraine will directly affect the health of our own democracy,” he asserted.
Garland spoke with regional representatives many times while attending the conference, according to the Justice Department. President Joe Biden, Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen, a number of senators, and Garland had all previously visited Ukraine.
Garland made his second trip to the nation on Friday; his first was in July 2022 when he announced investigations into potential war crimes.
Yellen met with Zelensky during her visit to Ukraine last week to discuss sanctions imposed by the US and its allies against Russia, reforms aimed at addressing the country’s pervasive corruption, and a $9.9 billion assistance package aimed at assisting the country’s government operations, according to the Treasury Department.
“We have committed to doing our share to help the Ukrainian people, both verbally and physically. We’ll keep collaborating with our global coalition to support Ukraine militarily, economically, and humanitarianly. And we’ll keep applying harsh penalties to the Kremlin for its unlawful war. We will support Ukraine for however long it takes, as President Biden has stated,” Yellen said.
The United States has provided Ukraine with the biggest financial support during the conflict, promising to provide the nation with up to $200 billion in economic, humanitarian, and military aid. Republicans have called for tighter control over where the weapons are going while others have pushed to cut back on funding for Ukraine.