The Latest on Ukraine
by Ted Poe on April 9, 2014 at 5:05 PM
The situation in Ukraine is worsening. On Friday, Vladimir Putin recalled the Russian ambassador to NATO, and Russia’s military chief warned that Russian troops could move further into Ukraine in just 12 hours. The world cannot sit idly by and allow another country to be invaded.
Last week, the House passed the Ukraine Support Act (H.R. 4278), legislation that includes economic and visa sanctions against Russia as well as support measures for Ukraine. This bill is an important, necessary step to stop Russia’s aggression in the area. This bill also included language to encourage the U.S. to explore ways to assist Central and Eastern European countries to diversify their energy sources and achieve energy security. I’ve repeatedly urged the U.S. government to do just that by expediting approval of permits for natural gas exports. Exporting natural gas will not only tip the balance of power in Eastern Europe, but it will also boost our own economy here at home.
Russia’s latest actions also include violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed under President Reagan in 1987. This has received little talk in the press, but is a serious concern. What good is a nuclear treaty if not all sides abide by it? In 2009, when talking about the INF Treaty, President Obama stated, “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words mean something.” I agree; that’s why I introduced legislation with two of my colleagues to draw attention to these violations and to call upon the President to take appropriate action under the treaty.