Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed with overwhelming bipartisan support the Ukraine Support Act (H.R. 4278), introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member. The legislation, which passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this week, promotes Ukraine’s sovereignty and democratic institutions while sanctioning those who have sought to undermine Ukraine’s independence and stability.
Chairman Royce said: “We must target those guilty of aggression against Ukraine and stand by our allies and friends to ensure peace and security in Europe. Today’s critical legislation also seeks to end Russia’s ability to use its energy reserves to blackmail Ukraine and other countries by increasing U.S. energy exports. Passage of this bill by the House today demonstrates that our words do have meaning and sends a clear message of American resolve that will be heard in Kiev, in Moscow, and around the world.”
Ranking Member Engel said: “This bipartisan legislation reaffirms our strong support for the people of Ukraine at this critical time. It authorizes assistance for Ukraine as it attempts to right its struggling economy, increase energy security, strengthen civil society, prepare for democratic elections this spring, recover looted assets and strengthen rule of law. It also endorses the deployment of international monitors throughout Ukraine to help reduce tensions and ensure the security of all Ukrainians. We are also sending a clear message to Putin and his cronies that their land grab and reckless actions will have serious consequences by supplementing the President's efforts to sanction those responsible for violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, looting its economy, and violating human rights in Ukraine. The United States, our European partners, and the entire international community must take a stand against Putin’s naked aggression.”
H.R. 4278 includes both a sanctions component and a Ukraine support component.
On sanctions, H.R. 4278:
•Codifies existing Executive Orders sanctioning individuals involved in the violence in Ukraine or who undermine the independence, sovereignty or territorial or economic integrity of Ukraine. This includes the most recent Executive Order, which allows for sanctions against broad sectors of the Russian economy;
•Calls on the President to sanction those individuals, within and outside the Russian government who wield significant influence over the formulation and implementation of Russian foreign policy, including Russian oligarchs;
•Authorizes the President to impose targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and visa bans, against anyone who:
- has undermined the democratic processes or conducted serious human rights abuses in Ukraine;
- has violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity;
- has engaged in significant acts of corruption, including misappropriation of Ukrainian assets;
- is engaged in Russia’s arms sector; or
- has provided material support to anyone involved in such activity
•Requires the President to routinely report to Congress on senior Russian political figures who are engaged in such activity;
•Requires the Administration to carefully scrutinize banks, especially Russian banks, to determine if they are involved in the plunder of Ukraine’s assets; money laundering, terrorist or proliferation financing, or actively helping to skirt sanctions; or helping to annex Crimea;
•States that the State Department is seriously delinquent in implementing the law that would trigger sanctions against Russian companies and others for proliferation activities regarding Iran, Syria and North Korea;
•Urges the President to expand the list of Russian officials sanctioned for gross human rights violations under the Magnitsky Act.
On support to Ukraine, H.R. 4278:
•Supports democracy and civil society in Ukraine by improving transparency, rule of law, and anti-corruption efforts and strengthens political organizations and protects independent media as Ukraine prepares for free and fair elections in May;
•Provides for a surge in targeted broadcasting by requiring Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America to increase broadcasts into eastern Ukraine (including Crimea) and target ethnic Russian communities;
•Encourages the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to prioritize investments in Ukraine;
•Supports increased U.S. security cooperation among NATO states in Central and Eastern Europe through military training, exercises, and the exchange of defense articles;
•Calls for U.S. efforts to enhance Ukraine’s self-defense capabilities, including through a review of U.S. security assistance to that country;
•Assists Ukrainian law enforcement to improve protection of human rights;
•Provides expedited assistance to the Government of Ukraine to identify and recover assets stolen from the Government of Ukraine or linked to corruption by former officials, including Viktor Yanukovych;
•Encourages the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to increase investments in Ukraine and cease new investments in Russia;
•Encourages U.S. efforts to break Russia’s energy grip over Eastern Europe, including through the promotion of increased natural gas exports and an examination of the potential impact of increased U.S. natural gas and oil exports on Russia’s influence.
Mr. Engel's floor statement can be viewed here:
Mr. Engel's floor statement can be read here:
Mr. Royce's floor statement can be viewed here:
Text and a section-by-section summary of H.R. 4278 are available