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Pascrell Joins Bipartisan Coalition in Introducing Ukraine Aid Bill

Legislation imposes additional sanctions on Russian Federation

Washington, DC, December 4, 2014

Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, announced that he joined a group of 10 bipartisan colleagues in introducing HR. 5782 the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which provides for additional assistance to Ukraine in the forms of humanitarian, energy and defense, while imposing additional sanctions on the Russian Federation.

“It’s critical we continue to increase pressure on Mr. Putin while deterring future Russian aggression in Ukraine,” said Rep. Pascrell.  “The people of Ukraine have suffered for too long at the hands of pro-Russian separatists, who continue to threaten stability and security in the region.  This legislation is an important step towards reaffirming the United States’ commitment to helping the people of Ukraine defend themselves and preserve their territorial integrity.”

Rep. Pascrell’s represents a large Ukrainian-American population in northern New Jersey, which he has met with numerous times as tensions continued to escalate in Ukraine. In September, Rep. Pascrell joined his colleagues on the House Ukrainian Caucus in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to invite President Poroshenko to address Congress during his visit to the U.S. earlier this year.  Rep. Pascrell hosted a delegation of Ukrainian Americans from New Jersey to attend President Poroshenko’s address.

“As co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, my colleagues and I have continued to witness Russia’ aggression towards Ukraine, which not only disregards Ukraine’s right to independence and territorial integrity, but destabilizes all of Europe and in turn, creates a grim national security situation for the United States,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). “Unlike other measures, our bill aims to directly assist Ukraine’s military to defend her homeland, a right Ukraine is entitled to. Without serious efforts like this one, Russia will continue to push the boundaries of freedom, literally and metaphorically.”

“Ukraine is facing an existential threat from Russian aggression,” said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). “The people of Ukraine are fighting for democracy and the United States stands behind them in their efforts. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, and continuing to aid the government of Ukraine as it works to restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“The Ukrainian people have demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of hostility by Russia, and they should know that these actions to sow chaos, destruction, and instability in Eastern Ukraine and in the wider Eastern European region have not gone unnoticed by the U.S. Congress,” said Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. “This bill is an expression of our support for the freedom and prosperity of the Ukrainian people as they defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the right to determine their own future. It includes additional sanctions and assistance as well as provisions to strengthen Ukrainian civil society, support independent media, and reduce corruption. The United States will continue to stand with the government and people of Ukraine.”

Original cosponsors include: Rep. Eliot Engel, (D-NY), Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA)

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