Murphy Keeps Eye On Russian Maneuvers In Crimea

Allan Appel PhotoAs Ukraine slid toward a possible civil war amid fears of Russian military intervention Friday, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, in a New Haven stop, took a stance of wait-and-see—while watching very closely.

Murphy has been one of the most active senators on the Ukraine crisis. He chairs the the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on European Affairs; in December he addressed a mass rally in Kiev.

He made an Obamacare-related stop Friday at New Haven’s Dixwell/Newhallville Senior Center as fast-moving events in Ukraine’s Crimea region raised fears of a deadly civil war or a Cold War-style Russian intervention.

The Russians have told the U.S. they will respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Murphy reported. “We’ll hold them to that promise.”

“The United States supports peaceful protest movements. Now we’re going to support the new government” with an aid package, he said. “We’re focusing now on political support for the new government and economic aid.”

Asked about reports of unidentified military-style presence at the airport and Russian troop exercises on the border, Murphy said he’d wait to for confirmation as to who the people are before commenting.

He played down the prospect of a division of the country or an annexation in the Crimea. “Crimea has a decent amount of sovereignty today. I’m sure the new government will be ready to talk about further amendments” to that arrangement. he said. “Neither the U.S. or Russia should impose our view of government structure in Ukraine.”

Murphy Gives Obamacare The “Works”

Murphy made his Ukraine remarks at a roundtable/ press conference convened at the senior center. He told a group of seniors attending the center’s lunch program, and a handful of leaders of the Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans, that he and other senators are launching “ACA Works.” That’s the name of a marketing campaign to counter Republican naysaying and debunking of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) with true stories and facts of the health care law’s achievements, he said.

Each week on the Senate floor, in press conferences, and—he told those around him—in communities across the country, the senators plan to focus on an ACA success. They launched the project Friday with seniors. Next week they will meet with cancer survivors, and the following week women.

“We have to push back on all the lies and mythology about the ACA because the ‘bad news’ is keeping people from enrolling. The vast majority of the American people support this bill, and want it to work,” he said.


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