U.S. House Takes First Steps on Ukraine
YORK, PA – The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 499) yesterday which condemns the Russian Federation’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and calls for sanctions on Russian officials, banks and other state agencies. The resolution included an amendment by U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-4) which reflects the consensus of the international community by also calling on the Russian Federation to end its support for separatist and paramilitary forces in Crimea.
Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea. While these units wear uniforms without insignia, they drive vehicles with Russian military license plates and freely identify themselves as Russian security forces when asked by the international media and the Ukrainian military.
H.Res. 499 calls on Ukraine and European countries and former Soviet Republics to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce Russian control of energy exports - and calls on the United States to promote increased gas exports and energy efficiency. The measure also calls on the Russian Federation to remove all of its military forces from Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, other than at those operating in accordance with a 1997 agreement; and to refrain from interference in all regions of Ukraine. It also declares that the Ukrainian people have the right to determine their own future free from outside interference.
“This type of behavior is well outside the boundary of international norms and cannot go unchallenged,” said Rep. Perry. “H.Res. 499 is the first step in that process.”
The full U.S. House also passed legislation (H.R. 4152) Thursday that would make Ukraine eligible for U.S. loan guarantees. It wouldn’t provide new appropriations — money to cover the costs of the loan guarantees would instead come from funds already appropriated to the State Department for bilateral economic development. The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation next week.
Residents are welcomed to contact Congressman Perry and his staff at any of his offices, or via Perry.House.Gov, where they can sign up for e-mail updates and for his new Facebook, Twitter and You Tube pages.