WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, this evening delivered the following remarks on legislation expanding sanctions against Russia. The legislation passed unanimously in the House:

“We need to send this measure to the President’s desk, and we need to do so tonight.

“It's clear that Russia is not only fomenting separatism in Ukraine, it is actively supporting the uprising and sending troops to back it up. This is an invasion, plain and simple.

“And, I'm concerned that the Kremlin's designs don't stop with Ukraine. He's already putting substantial pressure on our NATO allies and other European friends. We must not bow to his aggression.

“If we don’t act now, where will we be in six months? Where will we be in two years? Where will be in a decade?

“Since the Cold War, a vision has emerged of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. That reality is within reach. Putin’s aggression puts that future in dire jeopardy. We cannot let that hope die.

“We need to let President Putin know loudly and clearly: we will not stand for his blatant disregard of international law, we will not abandon our friends, and as the United States, we remain the world’s champion of freedom, democracy, and dignity for all people.

“Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for sending the House this bill so that we can stand as one in the face of Russia's aggression.

“In the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman Royce, and I, as Ranking Member, have worked together to say that we will not stand for Putin’s aggression. So, I think this is a very, very important thing to do, a very important bill to pass.”


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Watch Rep. Engel's remarks here