WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) today announced that they have introduced comprehensive legislation to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  An additional bipartisan group of 14 members, including the bipartisan leadership of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, joined Reps. Engel and Kinzinger to introduce the Stability and Democracy (STAND) for Ukraine Act (H.R. 5094), which 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.

“Driven by President Putin, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has undermined that country’s sovereignty, and at the same time threatened our own long-term investment in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.  Russia’s occupation of Crimea is illegal. We need to be crystal clear about that in our policy, just as we were during the Soviets’ decades-long occupation of the Baltic states.  We need to build on our sanctions regime against troublemakers in the Kremlin, while working to preserve transatlantic unity.  And we need to find ways of shoring up Ukraine and deterring Putin that go beyond just throwing more money at the problem,” said Rep. Engel. “The STAND for Ukraine Act brings a new approach to all these issues and makes clear that the United States will not just stand by as Putin bullies his neighbors, tests the resolve of NATO, and works to fracture Western unity.  I thank Representative Kinzinger and our other cosponsors, and I hope the House acts quickly on this measure.”

Representative Kinzinger said, “As we have seen time and again, there is no stopping Vladimir Putin’s disrespect for global order, especially in regards to Ukraine.  It’s time for the United States to stand up and reiterate that it will not tolerate Russia’s aggression.  By reaffirming U.S. support for Ukraine’s self-defense, emphasizing that we never have nor will recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and by holding Russia accountable for its continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, we will ‘Stand with Ukraine’ legislatively and most effectively. I’m proud to join Congressman Engel in bringing this important bill to the House Floor.”

The STAND for Ukraine Act tightens sanctions on Russia and rejects any form of recognition of Russian rule over Crimea, as was American policy toward the 50-year Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.  It also promotes investment in Ukraine and directs the State Department to implement a strategy to respond to Russian propaganda and disinformation.

Joining Reps. Engel and Kinzinger as cosponsors of the STAND for Ukraine Act are Representatives Sander Levin (D-MI), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Randy Weber (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), David Cicilline (D-RI), John Shimkus (R-IL), Bill Keating (D-MA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Reid Ribble (R-WI).

In Depth: The STAND for Ukraine Act, H.R. 5094

  •        Clarifies existing U.S. policy toward Ukraine and explicitly acknowledges Ukraine’s right to self-defense while linking any sanctions relief for Russia to timely, complete, and verifiable implementation of the Minsk framework. 
  •        Explicitly roots U.S. Crimea policy in the non-recognition doctrine followed by the United States during the Soviet Union’s fifty-year occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
  •        Codifies existing Executive Order sanctions imposed on Russia for the forcible and illegal occupation of Crimea.
  •        Tightens existing U.S. sanctions on Russia for its violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity by authorizing a strict sanctions-evasion framework and requiring a regular report on foreign financial institutions that are illicitly controlling Ukraine state-owned assets—namely Russian banks in Crimea. 
  •        Imposes an Arms Export Control Act “presumption of denial” standard on any NATO member that transfers certain defense articles or services containing U.S. technology or components to Russia while Russia is forcibly occupying the territory of Ukraine or any NATO member.
  •        Extends the Magnitsky Act to territories occupied or otherwise controlled by Russia such as Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.
  •        Directs the Administration to consult with the Government of Ukraine and seek to establish an international consortium to drive private investment in Ukraine by minimizing and pooling political risk to would-be private investors.
  •        Directs the Secretary of State to develop and implement a strategy to respond to Russian disinformation and propaganda efforts toward Russian-speaking areas in countries bordering Russia.