Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, US Deputy Secretary of State meet with Parma's Ukrainian community
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine were in Parma Tuesday for a discussion with Ukrainian locals and refugees about Ohio’s role in supporting Ukraine in the war with Russia.
Both Sherman and DeWine were vague about what was discussed in the meeting, which was closed to the press, but said they wanted to show bipartisan support to the people of Ukraine and that they liked hearing the passionate support from Ukrainian Americans and Ukrainian refugees.
“They talked about the needs they see in Ukraine... to make sure that the institutions in Ukraine have what they need and to make sure we’re thinking about that,” Sherman said. “Which of course we are.”
Before the meeting, DeWine said that local officials can have a role in what’s happening in Ukraine.
“One of the things that’s important is that those of us who are not in congress, but do have the bully pulpit of the office,” DeWine said “that we speak up, and we make it very, very clear that we support the United State’s actions in Ukraine.”
Sherman visited Kyiv last week. She drew comparisons to the Ukrainian people she met then, to the Ukrainian people she met in Ohio.
“I came back more inspired and more in awe of the incredible courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people and that’s what I saw and heard today,” Sherman said.
Sherman said Northeast Ohio welcomed more than 3000 Ukrainian refugees since the war began last year. She said the US would continue welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
One of those 3000 refugees is Ivan Prodanyk, who attended Tuesday’s meeting. Prodanyk has been living in North Royalton for seven months.
“We appreciate that we can be here and help our people in Ukraine together with American people,” Prodanyk said.
Other nations have provided military tanks to Ukraine. Americans are left wondering if the U.S. will do the same. Sherman said, “stay tuned.”
“We are trying to support Ukraine in every way we can, step by step, depending upon what the needs are on the battlefield,” Sherman said.
DeWine stated he would be in support of sending tanks to help Ukraine if that decision was made at the federal level. He also says law enforcement agencies from around the state have already donated spare protective equipment, which include more nearly 2000 protective vests, and the state has a program in place to collect aid for Ukraine.
Ivan Prodanyk hopes Ukraine will get more more military tools, including tanks, from the U.S.
“To save our soldiers, to save our people and to save our freedom and to save democracy principals in Ukraine.”
Sherman also said Northeast Ohio has been receptive to learning about the State Department's “Welcome Corps” program, which was designed to help American family’s provide assistance to refugees and humanitarian parolees from Ukraine and other parts of the world.