CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the House will consider H.Res. 726 under suspension of the rules. H.Res. 726 was introduced on September 16, 2014 by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
H.Res. 726 strongly supports the right of the Ukrainian people to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations. H.Res. 726 calls on the President to continue working with European allies and partners to reaffirm Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. It strongly condemns Russia’s ongoing political, economic, and military aggression against Ukraine. H.Res. 726 demands that Russia remove its military forces and equipment from Ukraine and end its support for separatist and paramilitary forces. H.Res. 726 calls on the President to cooperate with allies and partners to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, and other measures against Russia’s leadership that are sufficient to end its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. The resolution urges the President to provide defense articles and training to Ukraine, as well as appropriate intelligence, to effectively defend its territory. H.Res. 726 urges the President to work with Ukraine and others to ensure that the investigation of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17’s destruction is unrestricted. The resolution calls on the President to work with partners and allies to assist Ukraine in ensuring that the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 26, 2014 are free and fair. H.Res. 726 encourages energy diversification by Ukraine and other European countries to weaken Russia’s ability to use its energy resources to exert political and economic pressure. The resolution reaffirms U.S. commitment to its NATO obligations, and supports Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s efforts to establish a lasting peace in Ukraine that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces.
In February of 2014, former President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev as a result of protracted conflicts between antigovernment protestors and Ukrainian security forces in which up to 100 people were killed. The origin of the conflicts can be traced to the former President’s decision to suspend plans to sign an Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU), which would have included a free trade zone, in favor of economic support from Russia. The Ukrainian parliament approved a new pro-Western government in February. In March of 2014, Ukraine’s interim government and the EU signed portions of the AA dealing with political issues; and portions dealing with economic issues were signed in June.
In response to the approval of Ukraine’s new pro-Western interim government in February, Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea region and annexed it on March 18. “In April and May, armed pro-Russian separatists seized areas of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which was made possible by men, weaponry, and leadership from Russia. Ukrainian forces regrouped and made substantial gains against the separatists in July and August, but in late August and early September, U.S. and NATO officials say Russia stepped up its support to the separatists, including by deploying several thousand Russian troops to fight in Ukraine. Both the Russian troops and the separatists have been supplied with hundreds of tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, surface-to-air missiles, and other military equipment from Russia. As a result, Ukrainian forces have lost ground and may lose more if Russia continues to press its offensive.” Additionally, on July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over separatist-held area in Ukraine, killing 298 people. The flight “was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided to the separatist forces by the Russian Federation.” Although terms of a cease-fire were announced on September 5, 2014, Russia and the separatists it supports are presently violating it.
 Steven Woehrel, Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, Congressional Research Service (Sep. 4, 2014) at 1-2.
 Id. at 2.
 Id. at 9.
 Id. at Summary.
 Id. at 10.
 H.Res. 726.
A CBO cost estimate is not available.
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