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- Remarks as Delivered -

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today welcomed approval by the Committee of his comprehensive legislation to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  The STAND for Ukraine Act (H.R.5094), which he introduced in April along with a bipartisan group of 15 members, clarifies the position of the United States on Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, tightens sanctions on Russia, and drives new innovations to provide support for Ukraine.

Representative Engel delivered the following statement at today’s markup in support of his legislation:                                   

“I’m grateful that we’re taking up the STAND for Ukraine Act, which I introduced in April with Mr. Kinzinger, a former member of this Committee.

“The legislation underscores America’s support for Ukraine’s right to defend itself.  Parts of Ukraine, as we know, are illegally occupied.  So our aim with this bill is rooted in America’s non-recognition policies during the fifty-year Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

“This bill links any sanctions relief to Russia fulfilling its obligations under the Minsk Agreement as well as making Crimea-related sanctions permanent so long as the Russian occupation there continues.  It also tightens sanctions enforcement with a new anti-evasion framework and requires regular reports on banks illegally controlling Ukrainian assets—particularly Russian banks in Crimea. Additionally, this bill tries to drive new private-sector investment to Ukraine, clamps down on Russia buying defense equipment or services from our NATO allies, targets human rights abuses in Russian-occupied areas, and calls for a strategy to push back against Russian propaganda.

“I want to thank Mr. Connolly of Virginia for offering an amendment, making clear that Crimea-related sanctions should not be dropped until Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea has been restored.  Let me also thank the gentleman for his tireless work on this issue.  Thank you, Mr. Connolly.  He has been laser-focused on it since the first day of this crisis, and his measure makes this bill stronger.

“We need to send a message to the people of Ukraine that we stand with them, and to Putin that his aggression and bullying won’t go unanswered.  I ask that all members support this bill.  And I yield back.”       

Click here for additional information on the legislation.