Congressman Randy Neugebauer's Comments on Ukraine

The Ukrainian people—like all people across the globe—deserve to choose their own government, and determine their own future. Russia’s escalating intervention in Ukraine is an insult to Ukraine’s sovereignty and to the principles of democracy.

Ukraine and Russia have a complex history and tensions have deepened since this past November. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal to further ally Ukraine with the European Union. Since then, Yanukovych’s regime has collapsed and Russian forces have invaded the Ukrainian region of Crimea. This threatens the interim government’s security and stability. For an overview of the Ukrainian crisis, click here.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and today he authorized expanded sanctions against Russian officials responsible for the current conflict. I find it disturbing that when the United States President speaks out against Russian action in a sovereign nation, he is largely ignored by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, the latest news is that despite President Obama’s recent actions, Putin has declared Crimea to be a separate nation from Ukraine.

The House has passed a series of bills supporting the people of Ukraine and providing for enhanced economic support. One challenge for Ukraine is that they rely almost entirely on Russia for oil and natural gas. Furthermore, Russia exports $160 billion in fossil fuels to the EU and U.S., making it difficult for our allies in Europe to impose the strictest possible sanctions. One way we can address that is by speeding up the approval of U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. The Administration’s slow approval process essentially prohibits American natural gas exports to Europe and Ukraine.

I hope we can rectify that quickly, because it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to return democratic control to the people of Ukraine.


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