Washington, D.C. – As Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine continues, the House of Representatives today took action and sent a strong message of support for the Ukrainian people by passing the Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act (H.R. 5094).  The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), strengthens sanctions on Russia, assists Ukraine’s democratic transition, and requires the State Department to develop a strategy to counter Russian dis-information and propaganda.

On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):

“Throughout their long history, the people of Ukraine have struggled against great odds to defend their freedom and ensure their national existence.

For several years, Vladimir Putin has employed all of the tools at his command to dominate their country.

That includes arming separatists in the east where almost 10,000 people have lost their lives in the fighting and forcibly annexing Crimea.

The latest effort to legitimize his aggression was to include Crimea in Russia’s parliamentary elections held last Sunday.

These were a sham and the delegates represent no one but the rulers in Moscow.

The Administration cannot allow Putin to believe that U.S. opposition to his aggression is weakening.

Instead, the U.S. and its allies and partners in Europe must step up their pressure against Moscow, including providing the lethal assistance needed to stop Russian tanks that the Ukrainians have repeatedly asked for.

This legislation strengthens the sanctions imposed on Russia and reinforces the U.S. refusal to recognize Crimea’s annexation.

It is a clear demonstration that the U.S. remains committed to supporting the Ukrainian people’s unyielding defense of their freedom and their national existence.”