Washington, DC – Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement condemning President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of two territories in the Donbass region of Ukraine as independent. President Putin’s decrees recognizing the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic (DPR and LPR) is in violation of the Minsk agreement Russia is party to.

“I condemn in the strongest of terms Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the Luhansk and Donetsk so-called People’s Republics. With this decision, President Putin has decided to reject serious attempts at a diplomatic resolution to this fabricated crisis. Furthermore, he is showing to the world that this crisis is not about NATO enlargement but about his fear of an independent, democratic, and free Ukraine.

“Moscow’s assault on another country’s sovereign territory calls for a multilateral response, including punishing sanctions and continued financial and military support for Ukraine. The signals and concrete action so far by the Biden Administration and European capitals have been encouraging. There is more on the table. Contrary to the Kremlin’s goals of dividing us, its fomented crisis is swiftly reaffirming our commitment to the NATO Alliance and bringing the transatlantic community together.

“I stand in support of Ukraine’s desire for a democratic, Euro-Atlantic future, and I stand with its people in the face of this renewed assault on its sovereignty and territorial unity.”