Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 162, a resolution calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity:

“This bipartisan resolution urges the Obama Administration to provide lethal defensive weapon systems to Ukraine before it is too late.  Vladimir Putin’s forcible takeover of Crimea last year emboldened him to expand his aggression in eastern Ukraine.   Six months after the President of Ukraine’s direct request to Congress for military assistance, when he said that ‘one cannot win a war with blankets,’ the Administration’s response to this crisis has been tepid at best.  That has to change.  The House is now on record that the Administration must act decisively, and now, if the United States is to help the Ukrainian people save their country — and if the principle of territorial integrity against force is to be protected.”

Note:  H. Res. 162 was introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member.  Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel traveled to Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv last year to meet with senior Ukrainian officials and also to eastern Ukraine to determine the level of support for the separatists among the Russian-speaking population.  Earlier this month, Royce and Engel joined in signing Speaker Boehner’s letter to President Obama urging the Administration to provide lethal military assistance to Ukraine.