House Foreign Affairs Committee to consider tomorrow following 9 a.m. hearing

Washington, D.C. Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee, introduced H.Res. 499, which condemns the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and calls for sanctions on Russian officials, banks and other state agencies.  The Committee will consider the resolution at a markup tomorrow, immediately following the Committee’s hearing on UkraineThe hearing will begin at 9 a.m. (Note new hearing time; was originally scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.)

The text of the resolution is available HERE.

Chairman Royce said:  “It is important that Congress support tough sanctions on Russia to pressure it to end its military aggression and provide assistance to bolster Ukraine’s new government.  This resolution is the first step toward accomplishing that.  We must place tough sanctions on Russian high-ranking officials, state-owned banks and commercial enterprises, and key individuals behind the Russian intervention.  Only by forcing Vladimir Putin to reverse his aggression and by supporting Ukraine in this time of national crisis can we hope to restore peace in the region.”  

Ranking Member Engel said:  “This bipartisan resolution strongly condemns Russia’s illegal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and puts Putin on notice that his reckless actions will have consequences.   It also makes clear that the United States stands with the  people of Ukraine and reaffirms our conviction that they should be able to determine their own future, free of interference and bullying by Russia.” 

Condemning the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by Russian forces, H.Res. 499:

  • States that the military intervention by the Russian Federation:
  • Is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;
  • Is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;
  • Poses a threat to international peace and security; and
  • 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 its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine, and to refrain from interference in all regions of Ukraine; and
  • Declares that the Ukrainian people have the right to determine their own future free from outside interference;
  • Commends the Ukrainian government for its continued restraint and avoidance of military provocations;
  • Calls on the Ukrainian government to continue to protect the rights of all minority populations within Ukraine and make clear that it represents all Ukrainian citizens;
  • Calls on all Ukrainians to respect the legitimate government authorities in all parts of Ukraine, including in eastern and southern Ukraine;
  • Calls for the deployment of independent monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Crimea and other areas of Ukraine;
  • Calls upon the President and the leaders of the other democratic states to not attend the G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia and to consider expelling Russia from the group, given its international aggression and internal repression that are inconsistent with democratic standards;
  • Calls on the Administration to work with our European allies and other countries to impose visa, financial, trade, and other sanctions on senior Russian Federation officials, majority state-owned banks and commercial organizations, and other state agencies, as appropriate;
  • States that the United States should participate with its European allies and other countries in a joint effort to provide the Ukrainian government with financial, economic, and technical assistance, including asset recovery, to assist an economic recovery program that includes fundamental reforms;
  • Calls on the United States, its European allies, and other countries and international organizations to provide assistance to ensure that new elections scheduled for May 2014 are free, fair, and in full accordance with international standards;
  • Calls on the United States and its European allies and other countries to develop a long-term strategy to support economic development in Ukraine, including enhanced relationships with Western countries, organizations and institutions;
  • ·Supports efforts by Ukraine to achieve energy independence;
  • Affirms the right of all countries in the region to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples.

NOTE: The Committee will markup up H.Res. 499 immediately following the Committee’s hearing to examine the recent events in Ukraine and the next steps forward for U.S. foreign policy in the region.  Officials from the State Department, Treasury and USAID will testify at tomorrow’s hearing entitled, “U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Ukraine.”