CHICAGO – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a huge impact on other countries in the region, including Romania, which is why a delegation of Romanian leaders is in Chicago this week asking for continued US support. United.
They worry about right-wing rhetoric, threatening to end support for Ukraine.
Since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February, the United States has poured at least $18 billion in military and humanitarian aid into the war-torn country, and is poised to spend billions more .
But it’s not just about Ukraine.
“We don’t know what’s in Putin’s head. He’s aggressive. Russian atrocities are something incredible,” said Romanian senator Alfred Mihai.
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Mihai is part of a small delegation in Illinois this week, expressing concern over threats from some Republicans to cut Ukrainian funding.
“We’re talking about tens of billions of hard-earned American taxpayer dollars being spent on another country’s border for a proxy war with Russia,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
“If Putin sees a flaw in our will and our eagerness to support, why stop?” said Virgil Tiran.
Tiran is a Romanian-born businessman from Lincolnwood who came to the United States as an eighth grader.
Romania shares a nearly 400-mile border with Ukraine and has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees, straining its own economy.
On Sunday, the delegation visited a Romanian Orthodox Catholic church on the northwest side of Chicago. Chicago is home to over 150,000 Romanian Americans.
The delegation says Americans should see Ukrainian aid as an investment.
“Moral, political, economic,” Mihai said. “The United States will have a very strong alliance in the region going forward.”
“Don’t let me in my lifetime see the Berlin Wall fall and rise again,” Tiran added.
On Tuesday, the Romanian delegation will travel to Springfield where they will seek support from state lawmakers and hope to meet Governor JB Pritzker.