Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine and six House colleagues met with Romania’s prime minister on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 1st District, and six other House members spent more than an hour with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă on Tuesday, continuing a fact-finding mission that began with two days in Poland, where House delegation spent time with U.S. and NATO forces and visited the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.

The United Nations’ Refugee Agency estimates that around 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the Russian invasion, and that nearly 4 million have fled to neighboring countries such as Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The U.N. estimates that Poland has taken in 2.1 million refugees, the most of any nation in Eastern Europe, followed by Romania with 543,000.

Ciucă said Romania would continue to accept and support Ukrainian refugees as the invasion continues, Pingree said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine nearly four weeks ago. The Russian military has indiscriminately bombed cities’ civilian areas, including apartment buildings, schools, hospitals and shopping malls, and has reportedly killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

“Every day, it becomes clearer that more humanitarian aid and military assistance is needed for Ukraine,” Pingree said in a statement issued by her office Tuesday. “Whether we’re at border crossings and shelters, where millions of Ukrainian families carrying nothing but what they can fit into small bags are seeking safety, or at air bases and embassies, where our forces and allies are doing everything they can to support the humanitarian effort, the impact of President Putin’s violence can be felt. And we’ve barely scratched the surface of his destruction.”


“I’m glad we had an opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Ciucă, who for more than an hour spoke with us about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region. It’s reassuring to know we have a strong ally like Romania supporting innocent Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s violence,” Pingree said.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., chair of the Subcommittee on National Security on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, is leading the House delegation’s visit to Europe. Other members of the delegation include Reps. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., Mark Green, R-Tenn., Jake LaTurner, R-Kansas, Pat Fallon, R-Texas, and Nancy Mace, R-S.C.

The Biden administration has committed $2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, Pingree said. In the last two weeks, the United States has delivered more than $1 billion in direct equipment transfers to the Ukrainian military. Pingree voted for the House appropriations package that included $13.6 billion in humanitarian and security aid to Ukraine.

The group is scheduled to leave Europe on Thursday.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King returned from a similar fact-finding mission to Eastern Europe on Sunday.

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