Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement on the fifth anniversary of Russia’s occupation of Crimea:

“Five years ago, Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean peninsula by force. I stand with the entire international community in strongly condemning Russia’s actions for what they are: bald-faced aggression against a peaceful, independent country and a fundamental violation of international law. The United States will never recognize this land grab by Vladimir Putin. I call on Russia to immediately end its illegal occupation of Crimea and return this Ukrainian territory to Ukraine.

“I also remain deeply concerned by the appalling human rights abuses perpetrated by Russian officials in a campaign to silence those who dare to stand up to the Kremlin. In the coming months, I will push for stronger action to respond to Putin’s aggression worldwide and to help our allies and friends defend themselves.”

# # #