Royce: Putin needs reason to worry
POLITICO -- By NATALIE VILLACORTA
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce said that America needs to give Russian president “something serious to worry about.”
“I think what’s been missing in all of this is the very real leverage on Russia,” Royce (R-Calif.) said Friday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” discussing his committee’s proposal to export American gas into Western Europe and Ukraine.
Royce said thus far, “there hasn’t really been action that would give them second thoughts about further escalation” into eastern Ukraine, he said.
In order to get Russia’s attention, the congressman suggested, the White House needs to “come around” to supplying Europe gas in order to upset Russia’s monopoly.
This move would damage the Russian economy and allow European leaders make independent decisions.
“Until we do something decisive on energy policy, until we have a strategy and a policy that actually is something that the Russians would really worry about long term, we don’t have that hammer,” Royce said.
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“Here is the way we convince Europe to stand with us on this and here is how we can convince Putin to stand down.”
In addition to introducing the energy provision, the committee unanimously passed a proposal that calls for the United States and its allies to boycott the G-8 summit in Sochi, to consider expelling Russia from the G-8 and for additional sanctions on Russian officials, banks and state agencies.