WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s record of commitment to Ukraine sovereignty through financial and military aid and opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s incursions into Ukraine offer clear reasons to choose her instead of Republican Donald Trump, Clinton senior adviser Melanne Verveer said Tuesday.

Verveer, who was first United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and chief of staff to Clinton when she was first lady, pointed to the former secretary of state’s support for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in the aftermath of Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 by claiming a need to protect citizens there who speak Russian.

“She was one of the only leaders to call out Putin’s claim of protecting Russian speakers for what it was: a blatant and illegal annexation of a sovereign territory,” she said in a speech at the Ukraine in Washington Conference.

Verveer, the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, argued that Trump has not sufficiently rebuked Russian intrusion on American democracy through cyberattacks.

“The cyberattacks on the (Democratic National Committee), potentially to interfere our own election, were compounded by her opponent’s praise and embrace of Mr. Putin and refusal to condemn his actions,” Verveer said. “This election presents a clear choice between a candidate who has committed to defending Ukraine and international order generally, and one who does not.”

When asked how Putin could take advantage of a Trump presidency, Verveer laughed, replying, “I don’t even want to go there. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about this question.”

Former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign, was asked about Trump’s ties to Russia, specifically adviser Gen. Michael Flynn’s role as an analyst on Russia Today and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s lobbying efforts on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, Ehrlich compared the two Trump allies to any candidate’s desire to fill an inner circle with diverse views.

Ehrlich praised Trump’s “commitment to projecting U.S. strength around the world with conviction.”

“He’s certainly unpredictable, and he’s going to be unpredictable,” he said. “But I’ll take unpredictable over the predictable we’ve seen over the past eight years. Unpredictable is better than acquiescence and indulgence.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Green Miller, who moderated the event, praised Verveer for her role in making Ukraine a priority for the Clintons. She said the first time she traveled to the country with then-President Bill Clinton, he introduced her to then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma by saying Verveer had told Clinton when they were students at Georgetown University that Ukraine would one day be free.

“When President Clinton and I made that first trip, the first time an American president ever visited a free and independent Ukraine, I witnessed a dream my grandparents never realized but always hoped and prayed for,” she said.