Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement after Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a treaty annexing Crimea to Russia following his military invasion of the Ukrainian territory:

“The referendum and annexation are bogus.  In carrying it out, Putin is making the most of his energy grip over Ukraine.  If we are serious about challenging Putin’s aggression, the U.S. and our European allies should make an all out effort to break that grip.  Exporting U.S. natural gas would have the added benefit of boosting the U.S. economy and creating American jobs.” 

Note:  Last week, the House overwhelmingly passed H. Res. 499, authored by Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, which condemns the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by Russian forces, endorsing Russian sanctions and calling on the U.S. to promote increased gas exports to reduce Vladimir Putin’s leverage.  Also last week, Royce penned an op-ed in the Orange County Register calling for increased U.S. energy exports.

The statement Chairman Royce issued Saturday, following Russia’s veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Ukraine, is available HERE.

The statement Chairman Royce issued Sunday, during voting on the Crimea referendum, is available HERE.