WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the announcement of toughened sanctions against Russia:

“It’s now clear that President Putin’s support for rebels in Ukraine brought down a plane full of innocent civilians. From within Russian borders, his military assets are raining violence and destruction down upon eastern Ukraine. And his dangerous missile tests have trampled on an agreement that even his Soviet predecessors supported.

“Today the United States and our allies are saying with a unified voice that Mr. Putin’s reckless actions will have concrete consequences. If he is intent on flouting international law, he will only succeed in cutting off Russia’s access to international markets, trade, and finance. I support these tougher sanctions.

“I especially want to commend our European allies. Europe’s economies are much more intertwined with Russia’s, and sanctioning Russia is a tough choice for them. Going forward, I hope we will continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder with western democracies, especially as we look for a way to keep two French Mistral-class warships and other military assets out of Russian hands.”