Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 7, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EST

1:00 am
witnesses full prepared statements are going to be part of the record. i'm going to encourage you all to summarize and use your time to present your viewpoints. afterwards, the members will have five calendar days to submit statements and questions and materials for the record. without objection, as member offices were notified last night, in light of our time constraint, mr. engel and i are suggesting we limit to three minutes per member to help maximize participation of all the members this morning. if i could now go to our ranking member, mr. engel, whose family is originally from the ukraine, mr. engel from new york. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. deputy assistant rubinrubin. thank you for appearing before the committee today. and for your tireless efforts in
1:01 am
support of ukraine. on an issue that is in the forefront of all our minds right now. the u.s. has strongly supported a democratic prosperous sovereign ukraine. in keeping th ining with this c, we supported a peaceful resolution of the recent crisis there as hundreds of thousands of ukrainian citizens came out in the streets of kiev and throughout ukraine to express their desire for a more democratic state. signalled that ukraine was back on the path, but instead of welcoming this event, as was the case in the u.s. and europe, president putin has reacted in a very different and very disturbing manner. so let me be clear, president putin's aggressive military actions in crimea fragrantly violate ukraine's sovereignty. they violate international law. they're deeply destabilizing and have serious implications for security in europe.
1:02 am
all of us should be profoundly concerned about this and furthermore, justification for this is unsupported by the facts. there have been no persecution of russians in ukraine. all credible on serbservers agr this point. i believe this is a critical moment. must stand up for ukraine's unity and territorial integrity. russia has deep historical ties with ukraine and russia and ukraine should enjoy good and close relation. president putin must support ukraine's sovereignty and the right of its people to freely make their own choices and chart their own future. russia must also understand there are koconsequences for it aggression. including visa bans, freezing assets and banking sanctions. so president putin understands that this will not be business as usual. i call on our european allies and other members of the international community to take similar measures. i also support the
1:03 am
administration's initiative. to send international observers to monitor the situation in crimea and other parts of ukraine. russia in turn should welcome such a mission and return its troops to its bases immediately. our other priority would be to help the government deal with the formidable challenges it faces. secretary kerry was just in kiev and this was the right time to go be an the right way to show our support. given ukraine's dire economic situation, we and our iron allies should be ready to provide a robust pledge. i strongly support the initiative to provide loan guarantees to ukraine and i'm very pleased that the house will pass legislation authorizing these guarantees later today. i also welcome the eu's announcements that it will provide very efficient loans and credits and will support ukraine's efforts to reach an agreement with the imf and implement reforms to address
1:04 am
structural weaknesses. we should also provide additional assistance in areas of urgent need such as to help ukraine recover looted assets, combat corruption, increase energy security and counter politically motivated trade actions by russia. with regard to his last point, i also believe we in the eu must steadfastly support other nations facing similar russian pressure such as moldova and russia. i urge them to reach out to all groups and to work together to build a tolerant pluralistic society. must protect the rights of the minority populations and make it clear that it protects all citizens. mentioned as another justification for russian military aggression. i recognize there is a concern, but as the respected ncsj
1:05 am
recently stated, i quote, although there has been isolated incidents in crimea and eastern ukraine since the protest began in november, there's not been a pattern of violence against the ukrainian jewish population. finally, let's thank the witnesses and the administration for its tireless efforts to support democracy in ukraine. as the people in ukraine confront the many challenges ahead, they should know the united states will stand with them. we will support ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. to build a more democratic process and just future. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we're going to go to mr. rubin. >> thank you, chairman choice. memb royce. i'm thankful for this opportunity. i'd also like to thank my appreciation for the ambassador for joining us today.
1:06 am
we very much appreciate his presence. let me begin by thanking this committee for its deep engagement on this issue. we've been heartened by the robust bipartisan support we've received from this committee. house resolution 447 introduced by the house in february 10 sent a powerful message that the american people stand wholly and unequivocally with the people of ukraine in their hour of need. you've notified us you're, ma g i marking up a new resolution today. our united efforts have demonstrated to the people of ukraine and to the international community that the united states is resolute in its support of ukraine's desire for a democratic, peaceful and prosperous future. i will talk about regional stability. russia's military intervention is ukraine and the international community to russia's action. i've submitted a more detailed
1:07 am
written testimony for the record. i underscored the situation in the region extremely fluid and changing by the hour. i would also like to underscore the situation has changed as recently as this morning. which i'm prepared to discuss in further detail. let me also add a few words about my personal commitment to ukraine and its future. when i was the internal politics here in the state department. i helped open relations with independence ukraine in 1991. worked and lived in kiev from 1994 to 1996. i speak ukrainian and i have friends throughout ukraine. i've watched with horror as ukrainians were cut down by snipers in the heart of kiev. their determination, their courage and their assistaninsis
1:08 am
the possibility of the future for themselves and their country. it is not about the united states. it is not about russia. the people of ukraine have made a decision about their future. has taken the steps of creating a government following yanukovych's abdication. these decisions have been supported by overwhelming majorities, including members of president yanukovych's party. the united states welcomed the formation of the new government and is working with its leadership as it ensures the protection of the rights of all ukrainians. as the international community look, for ways to help ukraine, you will focus on the efforts to build a democratic country reflecting the will of the people of ukraine. the decision of the ukrainian people regarding the government
1:09 am
needs to be respected. russia's military intervention in ukraine has derailed the process. as secretary kerry said in kiev, the contrast could not be clearer. a russian government out of excuse, hiding its hand behind intimidations. the united states fully and unambiguously condemns russia's military intervention. we've repeatedly indicated it is a violation of territorial integrity. including russia's obligations under the u.n. charter and its treaty of friendship with ukraine. as well as russia's agreement of 1997 with ukraine. russia agreed in that treaty to respect the sovereignty of ukraine and not to interfere in ukraine's internal affairs. this is also a blatant affront to the 1994 budapest memorandum. we've taken action, consistent
1:10 am
with the unacceptability of russia's military action. we have suspended preparation in the g-8 sochi preparationings. we have suspended military to military contacts. we have issued a statement with the unanimous approval of the members of the north atlantic council strongly condemning the escalation in crimea. nato was stepping up efforts to increase our commission. we are considering other measures to provide reassurance to our allies. today, the united states has marshalled the full package of measures aimed at demonstrating the u.s. resolve in the face of unprovoked military intervention. pursuant to the president's guidance, the state department is putting in place visa restrictions on a number of individuals reflecting a policy decision to deny visas to those responsible for or complicib co
1:11 am
policette. undermining democratic processes or institutions in ukraine threatening the peace security stability sovereignty or territorial integrity of ukraine. contributing to the misappropriation of state assets in ukraine. without authorization from the ukrainian government and kiev. we've made it clear to russia and others that steps to undermine ukrainian democracy will result in further political and economic isolation should they continue on this path. mr. chairman, our focus remains on deescalation of tensions. the possibility of an offramp that could lead to the relaxation of tensions in ukraine if the russians are willing to take it. secretary kerry met yesterday in paris separately with the foreign ministers of ukraine and russia. the osce and the united nations are in the process of deploying monitors in the country. these monitors will provide transparency about the activity
1:12 am
of military forces. and defuse tensions between groups. they along with senior delegations will offer objective on the ground information to counteract russia's flagrant propaganda campaign. let me be clear on this point. there are no confirmed threats to russian naval bases. the interim government is a body that represents the will of the people. i would also like to state before this committee that the united states is closely monitoring reports of anti-semitic acts. we take this issue very, very seriously. and i would like to concur would the statement that you made indicating that we have no such information indicating there are widespread anti-semitic incidents. we have been in touch with the chief rabbi and we believe this
1:13 am
accusation is, again, being used to justify an unjustifiable military intervention. >> thank you very much, mr. rubin. now, we have five minutes for opening statements and so, page, if you could summarize, i think that's for the best. miss alexander. >> thank you for inviting me here today regarding the u.s. assistance package for ukraine. >> page, go ahead and put the microphone there. >> to recent events are momentous for ukraine and the response of the united states government is critical to the region's future. the u.s. is working with our international partners. especially the international monetary fund to provide needed support to ukraine's people and its economy as they approach this crisis. for peace, prosperity, freedom and human dignity. the very things that the people have been for the last three months explaining their concerns. as the chairman mentioned, for
1:14 am
the upcoming elections, moving forward with a series of programs in five specific areas to help ensure these elections are free, fair, transparent and inclusive. we'll work to improve the legal framework to strengthen the election administration, support civil oversight of the process by domestic and international monitors. encourage civil society coalition tossing advocate for further reforms. promote a more balanced open and diverse information environment throughout the country. and support a robust yet a fairer political competition in informing the public through support of public opinion polls and ensuring training for our party poll watchers. we recognize the more inclusive and accountable governments will not be established with just one presidential election. over the mid to longer term range, we will pursue a multifaceted approach to strengthening ukraine's democratic institutions and processes. years of economic mismanagement
1:15 am
have left ukraine with a heavy debt burden. we regulatory oversight of financial institutions and an uncompetitive business climate. the ongoing stability has led to a heightened insecurity, prompting the bank of ukraine to impose capital controls as depositors become wary of the soundness of domestic banks. recognizing the serious potential for failed banks, usdi will work to help provide banking supervision to increase public confidence. we realize ukraine's inefficient and import dependent energy sector continues to be a significant drain on ukraine's financial resources and this needs to be addressed in the medium term as well. so u.s. technical assistance will be provided to the government of ukraine as it makes important policy reforms and comb battats the corruption has prevented ukraine from reaching its economic potential. we need to revitalize support for the private sector which has staggered in recent years.
1:16 am
usdi is working with agencies to develop plans to improve the financial sector transparency, refor the energy sector and improve the operating environment for private sector businesses. mr. chairman, mr. engel, members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify on the issues of great importance. not only for ukraine but for the region and for the united states. this is a critical moment for an opportunity for ukraine and usdie is well positioned to help ukraine meet some of its most pressing challengings. the ifm will be crucial to those efforts. this concludes my testimony. i'm prepared for questions. >> thanks, miss alexander. we'll go immediately to mr. singh. >> chairman royce, ranking member engel, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i visited kiev last week to meet with government officials and express our solidarity during this difficult moment.
1:17 am
secretary lu has spoken several times with the ukrainian prime minister. who has assured us that the government is prepared to take the necessary steps to build a secure economic foundation. including the implementation of urgently needed reforms to assure financial stability, unleash economic potential and promote the economic aspiration, of the ukrainian people. the fragility of ukraine's financial condition underscores the urgency of its new government committing to an imf-led program and securing the financing it needs while difficult adjustments are made. the fragile economic situation in ukraine stems from many years of poor policy choices, lack of reform and corruption under previous governments. as well as it is negative confidence effect from russia's recent actions in crimea. ukraine's new leadership has declared publicly and committed privately its willingness to undertake the necessary steps to secure assistance from the imf and others and the united states has made clear that as ukraine
1:18 am
implements reforms, we will work with our partners to support the ukrainian people and restore the country's economic and political stability. as part of this international effort, the united states has developed a package of bilateral assistance, funded primarily by a loan guarantee that is focused on meeting ukraine's most pressing needs. these efforts will complement what must be the centerpiece of an international assistance effort and imf program. only the imf has the capacity to provide the necessary large-scale re, sources and the expertise for agenda in ukraine. an imf program also sends the strongest signal of confidence to markets, businesses and households at a time when sentiment remains volatile. more specifically, the imf has the expertise to develop in consultation with the ukrainian authorities an economic adjustment program that eliminates unsustainable economic imbalances, removes costly and poorly targeted government subsidies and
1:19 am
improves ukraine's business climate and competitiveness. the central role of the imf in this assistance effort is an illustration of why the imf is so vital to political interests. the imf is the world's first and more of the active responder in an economic crisis by providing financial support and hands-on policy advice. the imf helps keep our allies and partners strong and prevents dissatisfaction from spiraling in a political disability. this makes the imf role critical to our nation's economic well being. when instability abroad washes up on our shores, it results in fewer jobs and savings are hurt through financial markets. for the united states to continue playing a leading role at the imf as it helps ukraine, one of most significant steps we can take right now is to pass the 2010 imf quota and government reforms. why is this so important? first, the united states has the only major economy that has not passed a 2010 reforms.
1:20 am
and our inability to act has led other countries to worry that the united states is retreating from its position at the imf at a time when its role is so pivotal to the future of ukraine. the refors would support the imf capacity to lend additional resources to ukraine if it meets bridge financing to a larger package. we should be in favor of providing as much financial flexibility and resources as possible to the imf. there exists broad support in the american business community for these imf reforms. the u.s. chamber of commerce, financial services roundtable, financial securities, financial forum and business roundtable all agree that these changes are necessary and in the best interest of american businesses and the global economy. part of the reason why the business community supports these reforms is it's a safe and smart investment for the united states. the legislation will not add one new dollar to our overall
1:21 am
commitment to the imf. the imf has a rock solid balance sheet with liquid reserves and gold holdingings that excise all of its credit. on the imf since its inception seven years ago. our voice may diminish and we will miss an opportunity to bolster the fund's re, sos and economies may turn away from the imf towards regionalism. which means the united states will lose the leverage and influence it has built up over decades at a time when our leadership on the global stage is so critical. ukraine has asked for our support during this difficult time and the united states, along with its partners, should be ready to answer the call. thank you. >> thank you. in the interest of allowing our newer members of this committee to ask any questions and get information they need, i'm going to forgo my time and pass to mr. engel of new york.
1:22 am
>> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to only ask one question to give more people an opportunity to ask questions. i think i'm going to ask it to you, mr. rubin. russia's exerted intense pressure, especially economically, on ukraine in the past, and my fear is ukraine can expect more pressure in the months ahead. how can we and our european allies help ukraine and other countries such as moldova and georgia, which are attempting to build democratic states, resist this pressure? one of the things that worried me about leaning to this crisis is that putin in trying to lure these countries into its customs union offers them all kinds of goods, bonuses, gas, money, and the european union says, well, we'd like you to affiliate with us in the eastern partnership but there are 12 hoops you first have to jump through and if you jump through them and land on your feet, we'll consider you. i really think we have not -- the playing field has not been
1:23 am
level leveled. and we create obstacles to having these countries enjoin with us to look westward rather than eastward. they all complain to me when they come into my office, and what can we do to change this? >> thank you. i would like to first talk about the economic aspects of your question. i think i can point to some recent action both in the european union and the united states to address the very concerns you're talk about. congressman, i think most importantly, i would like to talk about the emergency assistance we've announced. which is tied in with the key reforms the government needs to make to get the economy back on its feet. the european union announced a major package this week and secretary kerry in kiev announced we are starting to put together a package that will include a loan guarantee that we've already been consulting with members on the hill about,
1:24 am
including this committee. i think it's very important to recognize the perilous financial situation that ukraine finds itself in under russia pressure but also under serious mismanagement. the new government has taken a promising set of steps and we believe that the new government is very serious about moving quickly to get ukraine back on its feet. it needs support. we're committed to providing that support. starting with not just the loan guarantee we're talking about but increased technical assistance and other form, s of aid. supporting ukraine with the united states as the leading part of that effort. moldova and georgia are very vulnerable as well, there's no question. we had the prime minister of georgia here two weeks ago at the white house meeting with president obama. prime minister of moldova also meeting with the vice president, the secretary of state.
1:25 am
we're doing everything we can to help them financially but to provide the critical support for the democratic choices of their people. and we'll be doing that in the months ahead. but i think it's very important to basically underline the point that this is a critical moment to give them that support now when you have governments making the right choices. we recognize that. we will be doing that. >> eric you're a little too close to that mic. just move it back a little bit. >> thank you very much for calling this hearing and for your excellent bill. the magniski list. denying and evoking visas of russian regime members who is connected to belligerent actions in ukraine and freezing or prohibiting any of their u.s. property in transactions are move, in the right direction. now we move name them and other officials responsible for human rights abuses. not just in ukraine but in
1:26 am
russia as well. to the magniski list which imposes similar sanctions. adding these names to the list would make these sanctions permanent rather than an executive order that the president can rescind. i've already committed many names to the obama administration to add to that list. since we passed the magniski act. there are many names here. names, position, examples and ev of gross human rights violations. i will send a new letter to the administration asking for more names of human rights violators to be added to the list. i would hope that my colleagues will join me in that letter. and the president must take similar actions actions. and the executive order of the president, he talks about actions or policies that undermine democratic process or institutions in ukraine.
1:27 am
well, he and his officials are also responsible for policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in venezuela. now is the time to act. 16 of my colleagues sent a letter to the president asking for those similar powers under the international emergency economic powers act. is the administration considering adding more names of russian officials guilty of human rights violations to the m magnaski list? is it simply an historical document for academics to ponder? are we simply going to stay with those few names put on the list and have not added many since then? >> thank you, congressman. we are actively considering adding new names. absolutely, we take the legislation very seriously. and i do not have any new information for you this morning. that is something that is underactive consideration. >> thank you, sir. >> gregory meeks of new york.
1:28 am
>> let me just see if i can do -- real quick question. first, mr. singh, i know that the treasury department is working closely with the department of state and the white house on a loan guarantee package for the ukraine. have you ta you talked about it briefly in your opening statement. i wonder if you can discussi in more detail how we in congress can support and improve the capacity of the imf to provide guaranteed -- a guaranteed loan package. >> thank you for your question, congressman. so the imf and any assistance package for ukraine that's going to be credible needs to play a central role. and the best thing we can do right now is to maintain our leading voice at the institution, the imf, that is going to be at the heart of the assistance effort. if we don't meet our basic
1:29 am
mission to fund it, the support may diminish. passing the reform provides the imf with more financing flexibility. particularly in the case where ukraine could need a bridge, a short-term assistance package, as a means to get to a larger agreement with the imf. now, the imf's on the ground, looking at the data. we don't know yet whether that flexibility will be needed. it's a good idea to have it. >> thank you. miss alexander, as you prepare for the long-term engagement and the development of the ukraine, are you confident that the interim ukrainian government is a stable partner for usaid? >> thank you, congressman. the benefit of the people that we've worked with in ukraine is that one of the development assets that ukraine has is also its vibrant multifaceted civil society. so we not only work in ukrainian
1:30 am
government, we work directly with civil society. but we've been very impressioned with what we've seen in the ukrainian government so far. we've been impressed with the restraint and we consider them good partners. so we're confident our money will be well spent. >> finally, mr. rubin, i'm a firm believer in multilateralism. in a multilateral way. i think it's vitally important for the united states to do that and to have this unified voice towards russia, for the reaction in ukraine. how can the united states -- i think this is something -- i just want you to elaborate a little bit more, better engage our allies in european to ensure we have the same strategic goals for prosperity of the u.s. and european relationship? it seems there have been some cracks recently. >> well, thank you, congressman. we have actually made this a very high priority. secretary kerry has spent the
1:31 am
past few days working on that. working with our allies and other interested governments to try to craft the united international community approach to ending this conflict, for russia to withdraw its troops and restore its recognition of ukraine sovereignty. we agree this needs to be a collective international approach. it needs to be a democratic approach. we believe the call of the international community for this to be settled through dialogue, for russia and ukraine to immediately begin talking about this can only happen if the international community is united in supporting this. that is precisely what the secretary is doing in europe right now. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. rubin, how do you assess the risk of miscalculation? with so many 747s pointing at each other only one troop -- or one soldier has to fire and things can get out of hand. you mentioned the oec monitors.
1:32 am
they've been stopped. as you know, they can't get in. when i visited oec monitors and other countries including georgia and croatia and elsewhere over the years, they have such limited capabilities to mitigate a firefight or any kind of hostility. secondly, i was in belizzie, georgia, after the russians rolled into okasia and south ossetia. they several times put their tanks on a road as if they were going to belizzie only to turn around, you'll recall that. their objective strategically was south ossetia. what is the objective of the russian, now? is it just crimea or other regions and cities in ukraine, typically on the east coast or the east area, i should say, in the cross hairs? and mr. singh, if you could, sergei glasiab has said russia will abandon the u.s. dollar as a reserve currency if the
1:33 am
u.s.ish in aipt u.s. ish ish in ainitiates sanctions aga russia. and the eurasia economic union, a meeting this week with belarus and kazakhstan and putin talking about that union that comes into force in 2015. how does that play into all of this? >> thank you, congressman. the question of international observers and monitors is absolutely critical. as you stated. we believe the best way to deescalate this conflict, to ensure there are no accidental incidents that lead to escalati escalation, is to have an international presence, eyes and ears, on the ground. that is what we've been supporting. that is what we've been supporting. that is what the special envoy is there for. we believe that they need access to all areas of ukraine. they have access to all areas except crimea. the government has been supportive in encouraging monitors to come in to address any allegations of abuses, to
1:34 am
address any concerns about minority rights. and that is the way to address these concerns, is through eyes and ears on the ground that can provide an objective assessment of what's going on and also be there as witnesses to what's going on. we find the fact that the monitors have had extreme difficulty in getting into crimea, to perform their activities in crimea, is something we consider unacceptable and we believe all the authorities involved, including the local authorities, have an absolute obligation to allow that to happen. we will be pushing to expand the monitoring. we will be pushing to expand the scope of the monitoring. and without that, we fear it will be very hard to actually know what's goggin. to answer your questions as to what the russian's objectives are, i have to say, i wish we all knew the answer to that question. we've seen that clearly one objective is to militarily occupy and control the territory of the autonomous region of crimea. we have condemned that.
1:35 am
we considered unacceptable. we consider the russian forces must return to their barracks under their treaty obligations in the basing treaty with ukraine. we condemn any further use of russian military force or aggression on the territory of ukraine. we hope we will see no further use and we can return to a diplomatic dialogue to end this very, very unfortunate situation. with that, help turn to mr. singh. >> the reserve currency portion of it, mr. singh. >> yes, congressman, let me give you a simple answer. russia doesn't get to decide the world reserve currencies or the united states level of interest rates. that's determined by our economic outlook and our monetary policy. we have the most deep and liquid capital markets. we have the most attractive investment environment. this is not -- we control our own destiny in this regard, not russia. >> we'll go to albio siris from new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you the members here
1:36 am
today. i believe we should have strongs sanctions. i don't think putin understands anything else. but how can we get strong sanctions when europe over the last few years has become more and more dependent on energy from russia? for example, germany didn't jump right away because obviously, i think it's something like 40% of the gas from russia. how can we get a consensus to come up with strong sanctions against russia, when they are so dependent? so -- and the other question that i have is russia threatening if strong sanction, start to infect our economy, they're going to go after the assets in russia that are american assets. what are they prepared to do? if they go after those companies and american assets in russia? >> thank you, congressman. let me address, first, the question of coordinating the
1:37 am
policy. the european council of the european union yesterday issued very comprehensive framework for imposing sanctions and the leaders of the european union are meeting today to consider that. we believe that what our allies and partners have done understand the seriousness of this. we have been working very closely with them including secretary kerry meetings in the past two days. we agree with you there needs to be a coordinated international approach to make clear to the russian federation there will be serious consequences for russia, for the russian economy, for russia's standing in the world, if russia continues its current course of action. this is not intended as a threat. this not intended as any form of economic coercion on anyone's part. this is intended to say the international community is based on a set of principles, the set of laws. the united nations charter, the helsinki final act. members hav toward each other. it must be followed. that's the basic foundation of the international system and the postwar settlement in europe. this is simply a clear message
1:38 am
to russia that russia has to return to respecting those normts, foez commitments, those laws. we believe that there will be coordinated international action, that it will not be just the united states imposing sanctions and other forms in response to russia's actions. we believe we will see that very shortly, and we will work very hard to ensure that this is a coordinated international front. i would adjust to say that we will very strongly support the rights of our economies, our investors and the basic principles of international law and all the other obligations the countries have toward foreign investors. we take that obligation very seriously. >> mr. singh, can you address the issue of russia? >> sure. congressman, mr. ruben is right. we're working very closely with our european counterparts, but the reality is russia is a very large economy, a $2 trillion economy, eighth largest in the
1:39 am
world. sbr enter connections on the trade front, the financial front, the market front. it's important that we're proportionate in our response depending on russia's actions. with respect to the energy question in particular, i would observe there's a co-dependence. yes, europe relies roughly a third of their energy imports come from russia, but so, too, does russia depend on those earnings, on those export earnings to europe. so they also need to be careful. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> we go to mr. steve shab bot of ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. president putin's recent explanationtion for his aggressive actions in crimea don't pass the laugh test. he suggested he's obligated to protect his fellow russians in ukraine when crimea was last part of the old soviet union back in 1956 when i was 3 years old, when it became part of ukraine and remained so after the fall of soviet union and add
1:40 am
vesht of an independent ukraine in 1991. his arguments are weak and his actions are clearly in violation of international law. unfortunately there is the perception at least that there's a growing power vacuum around the world and various bad actors are filling it, from the middle east to the south china sea, now ukraine. in the last few weeks we have heard from the white house about consequences and all options on the table and so forth. it wasn't that long ago my colleagues will remember that we were hearing about drawing a line in the sand. frankly, i fear that there may be a growing perception among our friends and allies in the international community that the united states at least in the area of foreign policy lax resolve. i hope our witnesses this morning will be able to alleviate some of those concerns. a couple of questions, where are we in regards to our cooperative efforts with our european partners? i've heard vague comments about consequences from european officials. how serious are they?
1:41 am
who are the players in the region that are working closest with us and where are the weak links? it's been suggest thad some of our allies in europe would never agree to strong sanctions on russia because of the fear that their sources of energy supplies would be cut off. well, here is an idea. perhaps our friends in europe would be able to avoid that fate if they, in fact, produced more of their own energy which is present but untapped because of their own domestic energy policies which we encourage. or even better, the obama administration could reverse its anti-production policies, approve the keystone pipeline, for example, open up anwar, encourage the development of our shale export program, and the europeans could buy their energy from us while increasing american manufacturing jobs. just a thought. i've given you a lot to think about. any comments?
1:42 am
>> congressman, thank you. let me say that in terms of ensuring that we have unity of purpose and action with our allies and partners in europe, this is our highest priority. again, this has been the main objective of secretary kerry's work in the past several days in europe. we believe we've seen clear statements that the leaders of european union, of the european union's member states and countries in europe that are not members of the european union are very serious about the threat that this set of developments poses, will take action, and we're working very hard to coordinate our action with them so we're presenting a strong coordinated front on this. let me also say that we've seen action taken by countries not in the european union and countries in the european union already to impose sanctions, to freeze accounts, take other steps, visa bans, to make clear there will be consequences for violation of the international order. additionally, let me say it is
1:43 am
our highest proi or the to ensure the solemn commitment wes have under the north atlantic treaty to our allies in europe are upheld. we take that obligation with the utmost seriousness. we have worked within nato in the past several days to ensure that we are prepared within the alliance to support all its members. we've taken action to expand. we'll be working very closely with them in coming days and weeks to ensure that the alliance stands strong and united on this. the last point you mentioned, i would just like to say that energy diversification has been at the heart of our policy toward europe for the past 25 years under every administration, and it remains at the heart of that. obviously there's still a long way to go. we strongly believe that diverse sources of energy, lack of reliance on a single supplier is very important for europe's security and future development. thank you.
1:44 am
>> we go now to mr. brian higgins of new york, or did you have a point you wanted to make, mr. singh? >> i was going to make the point that it's clearly important to collaborate closely on sanctions. we should acknowledge a very welcome announcement by europe in terms of their assistance to the ukrainian people. what's important right now is we all come together as an international community and meet ukraine's financing needs as it makes the reforms it needs to achieve economic stability which will pave the path to an independent future. >> mr. higgins? >> thank you, mr. chairman. russia has violated all kinds of international law including the treaty they signed with ukraine guaranteeing its borders in return for which ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. russia's occupation of ukraine is a direct and clear violation of ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. president putin has acted like an international street thug. in 1994 when russia was included
1:45 am
into the g8, it was in recognition that the post soviet russia was behaving like an honorable member of the international community and not a rogue state. if russia's behavior has changed, then it would seem to me that russia's status as a member of the g8 should change a little bit more aggressively than simply a suspension. their membership should be revoked. it should be revoked. number two, nato, which is 28 countries including the united states and canada and 26 european countries was essentially established to safeguard freedom and security through political and military means. it was a vehicle through which democratic principles could be promoted. any thoughts about the idea of permanently kicking russia out of the g8 and offering
1:46 am
membership to ukraine in nato? >> thank you, congressman. as the white house announcement stated this morning, we have suspended all preparations for attending the g8 summit in sochi. as we've said previously it's hard to imagine the president would go under current circumstances. the larger question you ask, obviously is something the president will need to consider. i think this gets to the bigger picture question which is russia's role in the world, how russia participates as a member of the international community. under the structures and laws and obligations that all members of the international community have toward each other. so i think the larger question is very clear. we, as i mentioned, take the north atlantic alliance and its obligations solemnly, seriously and we are looking actively to consider how we can do more as an alliance to respond to this
1:47 am
set of developments. but i would also add that we've said all along that the alliance is based on a set of values and commitments and principles, what kind of societies have come together. in this case we have stated publicly, for example, that georgia will be a member. that was stated twice by the alliance and remains our position. we believe all societies should have the right, all countries based on the will of their people to choose their alliances, their friendships and the organizations they wish to join. that's just a basic set of principles. that's something each country should be free to decide for itself. that's the most important principle. >> we go to mr. mike mccall of texas. >> i recently went to russia and got the sense that mr. putin is going back to a cold war mentality. this is more of a philosophical question. do you believe russia is intend on reconstituting its empire?
1:48 am
>> i think, as i said earlier, i don't really want to speculate about why rush is doing what it's doing. honestly we don't know. i think what we have to judge is simply what is russia doing. what we see russia doing is what has caused so much concern and that is intervention on the territory of another sovereign state through military source. >> my time is limited. which they have done prior. i think we learned from history they invaded georgia and then they continued to occupy georgia. i think that's very instructive as to the ukraine experience. today, in fact, crimea just voted to join russia. it was announced today. and i'm concerned the same thing that happened in russia will now happen in -- that happened in georgia will happen in ukraine. and i don't know if these sanctions will stop that. that's my biggest concern. when one nation invades a
1:49 am
sovereignty of another, definitions are important. we usually define that as an act of war. does this administration believe that the russian invasion of ukraine is an act of war? >> congressman, we've said very clearly that we know what we have seen which is military aggression, intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country, violation of legal commitments, violation of international law. that is what we see. i'm not an international lawyer so i wouldn't want to get into the terminology. it's clear, also, russia continues to occupy territory of the republic of georgia, something we've been clear in condemning. it is also clear that their commitments that all countries have to each other to settle disputes peacefully. that's certainly not what we're seeing here. >> i think we should call it what it is. you said it's very clear it's a violation of international law. i believe it's also very clear that this is an act of war
1:50 am
against another nation. when we look at nato, i think mr. putin feels very threatened by the european union and nato. poland called for an emergency meeting of nato to discuss concerns about this russian aggression. what are we doing to ensure that poland and our other nato allies are protected? >> one of the things we're doing is increasing our aviation detachment deployment. we are also working to ensure that the baltic states have the support they need to defend their territory, that's why we've increased our commitments to the baltic air policing mission with additional planes and refueling. we're working in brussels at nato to address any other concerns that the allies have. as i said, we take these obligations extremely seriously and we will do our utmost to ensure the alliance stands together. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> if i could make a quick announcement. our strategy will be to
1:51 am
recess -- i think our witnesses know how congress operates. we've got amendments up on the floor to the energy bill. there's about six of these amendments, two-minute votes. so we will recess until we get to the recommittal debate. that will give us time to come back and finish some of the questioning. with that, let's turn to karen bass. >> thank you, mr. chair. i believe my question is brief. it's for mr. singh. on page three of your testimony you talk about the imf and what is needed is an economic adjustment program that eliminates unsustainable economic imbalances and poorly targeted government subsidies. i was wondering if you could be more specific as to what those subsidies are, what needs to be changed and also, is the imf support contingent on that. >> thank you, congresswoman. that's precisely how the imf works. its sis assistance is contingent
1:52 am
upon reforms being made. the three core forms that i referenced, number one, there has been an unsustainable build up in physical spending over the years in ukraine. that needs to be addressed. number two, there are truly massive energy subsidies that have been a part -- >> subsidies to companies or to the population? >> to the population, to tariffs paid for heating and gas and so forth. that's led to coop assumption of energy that's among the highest in the region. >> would you be concerned that some of the reforms might cause problems, dissent if subsidies are cut off? >> that's why our notion on the loan guarantee is to try to direct the proceeds of that issuance that we have in mind and direct those to ukrainian society so those reforms are easier to implement and they
1:53 am
don't fall on those who can least afford to bear them. the third piece, apart from moving on the energy subsidy problem which i mention has led to overconsumption and reliance on russian gas, i should say. is on their exchange rate. it's overvalued, caused them to have a real problem in terms of exports. it's made their economy uncompetitive. one last thing is, i should say it's very good news in terms of the political will that we're oeshing on the ground that we're already seeing movement on these reforms. the currency in ukraine has weakened quite a bit and become much more flexible. it's becoming much more driven by market forces. that's a condition of the imf and the leadership of ukraine has shown a willingness already to move in that direction. that's a positive sign. >> i know elections are supposed to be scheduled for may. do you think there's the leadership there with the current person that's in power just running for election?
1:54 am
and that's to anybody and then thank you, mr. chair. >> congresswoman, the elections have been set for may for the presidential elections in ukraine. candidates have not yet been formally announced, nor has anyone formally submitted their candidacy. we're not sure. the current prime minister indicated he would not be a candidate and would be running the interim government. we do believe it's absolutely critical there will be a fully free, fair election in ukraine to choose its new president. we'll go to mr. bill keating of massachusetts. would you like to have the last question before we recess? >> thank you, mr. chairman. a couple of quick questions. number one, nato secretary general rasmussen has said the alliance plans to intensify its cooperation with ukraine. can you give us a more detailed description in terms of nato's plans. if the ukrainian government were to request member ship action plan, would the administration
1:55 am
consider that, possibly support it? that's question number one. the other one deals with imf reform. would that improve that to make sure our dollars are more effective live used and we don't have squandered money, important taxpayer money for the u.s. and money from our european allies. will that provide more ability to maximize the use of that? those are the two questions. mr. singh can take the second. mr. rubin, if you want to take the first. >> certainly, congressman. the question of nato cooperation, ukraine has been a member of the partnership for peace for two decades. we have very extensive positive experience working together with ukraine on training, on improving the readiness, on all sorts of questions that relate to building a modern military, civilian military control. that is something that we
1:56 am
certainly hope to continue and ukraine has a mission to nato. we have regular meetings of the nato ukraine council in which that can be discussed. as a matter of fact, we just held a session in light of current events at ukraine's request. we have a very strong partnership through the partnership for peace, through the nato ukraine council. we do want to continue to develop that with the new government and in the future with the new president. >> specifically, with the membership action plan, i can't see in the very near future i can see the need to address this issue frankly because our options are limited now. if ukraine is interested and wants to pursue this, will we entertain those discussions and be supportive? >> we've said from the beginning that countries need to be free to choose their memberships, their alliances, commitments to other countries, this is basic principle of sovereignty and, therefore, as a matter of basic
1:57 am
principle, nato is an open alliance. i think in terms of what the people of ukraine want and what the government of ukraine wants will be up to them to decide will be very interested in having that conversation based on what they tell us. >> on imf quota reform. >> congressman, the answer is absolutely. this imf quota reform wouldn't require a single extra dollar of u.s. financing to the imf but would preserve our lead role as the world's preeminent responder, the first responder to national crisis. it preserves our voice and influence at the institution that would be at the very center of the assistance in ukraine. by the way, it also increases the imf's flexibility to respond to the situation on the ground in the event of a node for bridge financing to a larger package. it should be a slam dunk. >> thank you. mr. deutsche, you a minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just have -- i want to focus the discussion in a different
1:58 am
way. in addition to targeting individuals responsible for undermining the democratic process and threatening the territorial integrity of ukraine, are you considering additional robust sanctions that would have a more significant impact on the russian regime? for example, will you look to impose sanctions, mr. singh, my question to you, will you look to impose sanctions discussed previously for those providing the funding and equipment necessary for the syrian regime to kill and terrorize its own people? that it seems is a way to really strike at russia in a way that is significant and appropriate. >> congressman, let me just say, we have not listed specific individuals or entities today. this is broad authority that we'll use as appropriate given the situation on the ground. >> is it appropriate to impose sanctions on those individuals who -- in russia who are assists the assad regime in slaughtering its own people? >> congressman, i can only say this specific tool is designed to allow us to sanction those
1:59 am
who are most directly involved in destabilizing ukraine, including the military intervention in crimea. it doesn't preclude further steps to be taken. i can't comment specifically on your question. >> it does not provide the opportunity. do you understand the opportunity to impose sanctions in a significant way that would impact the russian regime and the decisions they make by going after those who are responsible for aiding assad? that's the question. >> i'll have to come back with a fuller response. >> we stand in recess. like this hearing is reconvened.
2:00 am
>> thank you. i think we of appreciate the international response to the clear act of russian aggression. i presume many standard review or substantive procedures are likely to be expedited or maybe even waived. speak to the long-term
2:01 am
obligations of the united states we are contemplating. typically it is distributed by an independent facility. will that be the case here you will the u.s. have effective oversight? how will that broker, and what do you assess the prospect for successful repayment and what you think will happen if that does not occur thomas and what is the consideration of aid? thank you. >> the way the loan guarantee works is the u.s. government guarantees to repayment of the principal and interest on a bond issued by the ukraine government. cost is the possibility the ukraine government cannot repay the principal, in which the u.s. government would
2:02 am
responsible. how it is defined. the way we mitigate the risk is twofold. number two, we can use some loan proceeds to lessen the impact of the reforms on the most formidable segments of the ukrainian society and that makes reform and success that more likely. to the loanon guarantees, what other aid is the frustration considering and what other things can we do to support the? >> thank you. the reality is we have had a bilateral program with the ukraine since 1992. we have worked with civil society very effectively.
2:03 am
if we look at the request is made, obviously that was thrown we before would -- before knew with actual needs would be. my colleague is talking about with imf team is clicking add, usaid to look at the technical elements needed to support that. whether it is through energy most importantly, i think we have the election in front of us. it is important to recognize the true ambitions and where we want to go. we want to make sure they are as transparent as possible. click thank you. you.hank >> thank you. thank you to the witnesses. a little bitld up of what my colleague said
2:04 am
earlier. russia did not use the dollar as the currency and friend to not pay back outstanding loans. can you assess with the economic outlook might be? thank you for the question. i did not think it will be prudent to speculate about various scenarios that can unfold, but i would say russia does not get to decide whether the u.s. dollars are a reserve currency and we recall -- we control the distance he in that regard. >> with regards to outstanding loans, can you give me an idea of the volume of loans outstanding they have. single billions, tens of billions, the magnitude of where we are at. we have some initial data on the reside inclaims that the u.s. financial system to russia. our exposure is somewhat lower
2:05 am
than that of nowhere -- of europe. it is well under one percent. >> thank you. understand from the material provided this morning, the imf currently doing an economy ofof the this point. issues with transparency and full disclosure of the economy. i think the figures i have seen somewhere between 25 billion and 35 billion over the next year or so. how long until the assessment is done, and how confident are you that that figure is accurate or potential for what is needed? thank you for the question. on the actual figures i will defer. we have been saying for years that you created needed -- ukraine needed to address the very serious deficiencies.
2:06 am
to do thatd the way is engage in dialogue with the international monetary fund and have serious negotiations. the previous government did not do that, and as a result, did not get the help and advice is needed. we are encouraged by the current interim government to engage with the front and began making difficult reforms. we believe the package that , quotas imf support reform that we believe is critical to have the imf support to ukraine and other countries that find themselves in the situation is a critical part of the package and the bilateral systems that we are committed to package andth imf launch it on the healthy path toward prosperity good economic
2:07 am
stability. i will say there are a wide range of market estimates. i do not want to speculate without having the facts. that is why the imf is there. they will divide transparency. i will say in the estimates of what ukraine needs, much of it depends on the willingness of authorities to undertake the needed reforms. every indication we have is they are willing to make the hard decisions. i should add imf and international community have more than enough resources to meet the needs. we will see the report from the imf? weeks or days away? >> it depends upon the speed of bech the relevant data can
2:08 am
analyzed. >> thank you. let me ask a question about the brutality against reporters. this is a concern i have about getting the free flow of information around the ukraine. we have voice of america targeted by security forces pro-yanukovych. two reporters badly beaten and detained in january. a prominent journalist and looking to leave for death threats in january. he we had a ukrainian tv service reporter who faced repeated the coveron following of the motorcade protest. in the run-up to the next elections, it seems to me that
2:09 am
uncensored information, surrogate radio to give real-time information about what is happening on the ground into discredit misinformation will be very important. what steps are being taken to increase messaging to the ukrainian people, and my concerns, one of is how do you target that to eastern ukraine, and maybe people in crimea, to make sure they have the real case of what is going on. thank you. we have been working very effectively with the embassy to do exactly that. sheet cameouse fact out about the top 10 myths portrayed out there. the independent media has been a bright spot we have seen throughout the years. just today the crisis media theer was stood out by
2:10 am
activist themselves. these are things we do not have to financially support because they are doing it themselves. -- trying tog amplify the messages they are putting out. i think that will be one of the most important elements to make sure that information is out there. we have been working with merchandising stations trying to get the message out. >> years ago i tried to restart the radio-free yugoslavia. that was the one country whenever broadcasting during the cold war. i have had a number reporters tell me you saw the way the check republic in slovakia handle this without the loss of life. they said if there had been a surrogate radio broadcasting into the country, it would not have been possible with hate radio to whip up the type of
2:11 am
hatred created. that is why i think having this kind of capability going in before the election, while at the same time reassuring russian-speaking ukrainians that will respect all languages. i think the broadcast have to be not just ukrainian but a russian. of this moment we want to adjourn in order to get to the floor for the final vote. thank you very much for your testimony today.
2:12 am
>> this committee will come to order. we meet today to mark up house resolution 499 condemning the violation of ukrainian sovereignty, ukrainian independence and integrity by military forces of the russian federation. i will now call up the resolution and without objection, it is considered red and open for amendment of any point.
2:13 am
after my brief remarks i will recognize those who want to offer amendments. doer opening remarks, let us it this way. any who would like to look in the resolution, get the at&t -- then we will go to the amendments. some will be accepted on block after they make the case. some will be voted on independently that are more controversial. i would like to thank members and considering the resolution so quickly. is in aard, ukraine very difficult situation. time is of the essence. congress needs to have its voice put in place soon on this. this is a straightforward declaration by the house in support of freedom loving ukrainians in the time of trial. it condemns the unprovoked
2:14 am
aggression in no uncertain terms. this is one part of a larger effort to provide assistance to the ukraine and impose real costs on russia for its actions, which the committee is working on. this committee condemns the violation of ukrainian sovereignty and independence by military forces of the russian federation. it declares the ukrainian people have the right to determine from own future free outside interference. this calls on the administration to work with allies to impose fisa, financial and other sanctions as appropriate. gos action cannot unchallenged. show part of an effort to off scout how isolated they are. world leaders are speaking out. open the, i will
2:15 am
committee to any comments members would like to make on the resolution itself at this time. mr. meadows. thei would like to thank chairman for his work in bringing this to the attention of the house in such an expedited manner. the chairman is correct in terms of the critical nature. every hour makes a difference. i would like to thank the chairman for the leadership and i'm bringing this forward. i yield back. ofnks -- brad sherman california. >> i support the resolution, happy to coke -- cosponsor it.
2:16 am
to also urge those in ps to broader and the coalition. to go with the actual international monitor election. and to not internationally adopt measures that would reduce a level of official language laws thatording to existed at the beginning of the year. if we want a united ukraine, the government has to not be government of the winners but of the entire country.
2:17 am
and i hope that is part of the message we send, whether it is in the text or resolution or not, and i yield back. >> mr. grayson of florida. >> thank you. i support the resolution and and condemnect to russian interference in any other country including neighboring countries. that being said, i think the resolution bills to come to grips with the fundamental issue around the world when we are addressing the situation. the ukraine is an artificial creation and specifically that of lenin slapping together a ukrainian population with a russian speaking population and a russian ukrainian speaking population. time after time and election after election, we have seen a -- geographicphic division in the country. you have russians
2:18 am
and ukrainians who speak russians primarily. westagain, we see in the winning 80 or 90% of the vote. in the eastrty winning 80 or 90% of the vote of the russian party. these are siamese twins joined at the hip. need to be over time very carefully and tenderly separated. that is the only way we will seek resolution to the situation. i would hope to see u.s. policy that favors regional autonomy and the right to sell information to both sides of the country. it is clear in the west there is strong desire for the western part of the ukraine to join poland and other neighboring countries as part of the eu.
2:19 am
we have to come to grips with that. the eu can help determine the future of the ukraine and the east will help determine russia. the area the russians are now using military forces to try to control is an area that voted for the deposed government with over 90% of the vote. agree with any way what the russians have done, but i have to wonder want -- what point there is an engaging in the cold war attitude in the us versus them and failing to come to grips with the underlying problem. a sickly, talking about a country that cannot agree on an also but. true,g as that remains there will be no peace in the ukraine regardless of what we do or russians do. i yield back.
2:20 am
>> yielding myself such time as i may consume, let me point out that there are many countries in which more than one language is spoken. ,ut in the case of the ukraine when the vote for independence came, the russian speaking torsion of the country, as well as the ukrainian speaking portion voted overwhelmingly for independence. he voted to remove him from the that is 100 and 99 more than the number required for passage.
2:21 am
the eu observers, including the polish, german and french were at key of during the time and informed there had been no clue and in fact, the overwhelmingly majority of parliament had voted for a government. to encourage inclusion in the ukraine, we recognize polling shows the overwhelming majority of people wanted independent ukraine? some lookased and west. ultimately it is up to the population to resolve this peacefully through the elected government, but i think we can assert the principal that ukraine be allowed to serve both of those roles.
2:22 am
to stress the importance of inclusion within different languages. because so many conflicts start out over language. . the eastern ukraine once had an additional 8 million ukrainian speakers. joe stalin unfortunately during the force collectivization of the country moved them to siberia, most of them perished. were thetly there purchase under the soviet system.
2:23 am
is interesting about ukrainian independence is the overwhelming support of all parts of the country. given this important consideration, i think we have here before us a resolution that carefully explains in a way that will help bring language -- leverage to wind down the crisis number recognition that all minority groups need to be included there. think the template for democratic governance, and i do not doubt this will be difficult because ukraine does not have a history of compromise in its political system.
2:24 am
all portion of this resistance in the country is to the historical corruption, endemic corruption there. we are addressing that with the engagement of europe and the united states. i will yield. >> i want to make the point that as a republican from illinois, the united states folks quite differently based on geography and in some cases seems like we speak to for languages as well. we are able to achieve a common objective. i wanted to add that to the chairman's point. >> i yield my time to mr. grayson. >> thank you.
2:25 am
and look at the election results for the 1868 election and the 1872 election here in the united states. at the end of the bloodiest war we have ever experienced, you do not see the polarization state by state that you see in the recent ukrainian elections going back to 2004. there is a greater polarization started bye ukraine the election results than there was by the elections. there was no state that voted as .uch as 80/20 many provinces voted more than 80/20. that is the fact, and that shows they have reached the end of the line. there must be some kind of acknowledgment of the that the people in the eastern part of the ukraine did not want to be part of the eu, and the people in the western part do not want poured over by russia.
2:26 am
if we're going to have any hope of progress, we need to recognize that. thedy claims anymore that czech republic should be slapped together with slovakia. sometimes it is done and the less peaceful manner, as appeared -- occurred with sudan and south sudan recently but the fact is him at there are irreconcilable differences between these parts of the population, and i think it is a shame the resolution does not acknowledge the basic fact that in thesed the situation first place. >> can i ask if mr. sicily need would grant me time. i understand that gentlemen. i am not sure if you follow the logic of thought would be borne out because confederate soldiers
2:27 am
were allowed to carry that out. the distance between the north and south would be far greater if they have been given the franchise to vote. thehe ukraine after collapse of the soviet union, those who had been on the side of the soviet union were allowed to franchise him the right to vote. that an example of the fact that we in the united states have gone through something as wrenching, perhaps more with respect to the civil war, and eventually come closer together. makenk the point that you him a which is the most concerning one, which is the fact that the difference, with respect to the language itself creates probably more of an impediment than anything else. area where we can weigh in, where we can assure minority rights and do so and
2:28 am
articulate the fact that all minority rights should be guaranteed and respected. theink this way forward is one way we can underscore your vision of trying to address the issue. i do not think of balkanization based upon the polling i have seen, it is opposed by the ukrainians themselves. i think a better resolution would be one that i stated earlier, where they look east and west. i think the resolution overall urges the right to self-determination of all of the people of the ukraine. >> did you want to reclaim time to make a point? >> you are like the timekeeper now. i wanted to reiterate the point to make sure it was not lost,
2:29 am
which is the situation we see in the ukraine in terms of ethnic divisions was engineered by the russians. this was engineered by stalin. intending to populate ukraine so that someday when it was in 2014 or 20 years later, someday he could claim legitimacy to them poor in part for him. i hope the point was not lost that this is something that was engineered. thank you. just to be historically accurate, it was not stalin, it was lenin. the gentleman seems to be misinformed in that regard. yielding myself much time as i may consume, 1956 mr. khrushchev actually transferred
2:30 am
crimea to the ukraine, thus creating the current boundaries of the country, and you are correct, mr. lennon, prior to that. so many countries across eastern europe are the consequence of these overtime and i think the bottom-line is that self determination has to be left to the people of the country, and i believe if we have a fair and in may, that this will be the best way forward for -- ukrainiannd population. let me recognize mr. connolly from virginia. >> thank you. i wish to associate myself with your remarks. i certainly appreciate mr. of the's reminding us
2:31 am
historical context, but where do we go with that? i am concerned about two things. there is no end of boundaries and borders we could start redrawing a stun artificiality -- based upon artificiality or convenience. middle east to africa to foreign soviet republic. many boundaries are very arbitrary. we have paid a price sometimes but to go back into decide to redo them because someone in history got it wrong i think is someone else's task be on the work of this committee. thendly, i also believe danger of dwelling too much on that is unwittingly, it gives the rationale for what putin has
2:32 am
artie done. the fact that crimea was added to the ukraine in 1956 in no way justifies what russia and vladimir putin had done. he wants to go down that road in terms of not justification. so i believe the resolution in front of us is about most one. i intend to support it. >> mr. chairman, i would yield back the balance of my time. unless mr. grayson wants more time. >> i would simply reiterate that i have artie indicate i support the resolution. but i think it is at best, a withmeasure that does not, a solution. self determination has to be the key. the way is through devolution.
2:33 am
local autonomy, and perhaps ultimately through independents. i do not see this transcending in any real way without that happening. i yield back. >> i am going to close my argument yielding as much time as i may consume at this point. the resolution does not assert a position on crimea but it does call for all citizens in the ukraine to respect the current government authorities, a necessary step in promoting stability and rule of law in the country and the resolution calls on the ukrainian government to rights of all minority populations within the ukraine that gives -- that is important for minorities in the eastern and southern regions. i think mr. duncan was thinking resolution -- recognition. >> i appreciate the comments.
2:34 am
the time in history we talk about the 1776 and 1777. i think about people that are seeking liberty and self-government. about when we talk about the crimea and different ethnicities of the ukraine territory, i think about should we be concentrating on trying to engineer another state or let the ukrainians deal with that. the russians are involved and not just the crimea, but by sinking one of their own ships and blocking naval passage to access to the black sea for their own protection and own protection of the maritime fleet homily definitely see russia social engineering. i think about 1776 and this moment,e ukraine
2:35 am
pursuing self-governance, pursuing self liberties and things we take for granted, i also think about their desire for help from another free country and the french court at the time when ben franklin is asking for financial aid so the fledgling nation could win its war and independence and actually pursue self-governance. so as we debate and vote further on today with financial loan guarantees, we need to keep in mind we would not be here had another country step up to provide that opportunity for us. before we go on, are there any other member seeking resolution? seeing none, in order to priorte this and with
2:36 am
concurrence, i ask unanimous consent the following members -- amendments be considered on block. the holding amendment, the kennedy amendment, the kim's incher and pretend, the meadows amendment number 32, the perry amendment number 31. without objection. so ordered. do any members seek recognition for items -- mr. kennedy. >> thank you. to express support for my amendment. wouldemo i offer that include resolution to the offer passed on february 10. this has grammatical corrections to make sure the clause fits in. instability forced in the ukraine forcing peace corps volunteers out of the ukraine.
2:37 am
i am a formerre, peace corps volunteer. on february 24, 2014, peace corps announced all arenteers in the ukraine safe and accounting for pet had to be evacuated. been working in ukraine since 1992 under an agreement brokered by president bush. 2740 american volunteers have lived and worked in ukraine. they served in ukrainian schools, bringing resources and innovative actresses. andign exchange information best teaching practices. working in tandem with ukrainian committees. serviceng -- supporting providers.
2:38 am
government entities and private enterprises. that's most importantly for me, peace corps volunteering named alex kaplan as one of the many americans who were evacuated from the ukraine within the past two weeks. he was teaching secondary education at a local school and volunteering at a local animal and homeless shelter and several english language clubs. he talked in a recent interview about the strong bond he forms with the community and most importantly, the fact that he would go back in a heartbeat to continue his service once the threat subsides. volunteers like alex haven't bothered the spirit of service and peace and cooperation for american policy. their conclusion underscores the commitment and a world that is freer and fairer than before. >> thank you.
2:39 am
for pennsylvania and mr. sherman of california. >> thank you. i want to speak on behalf of my amendment. putin continues to propagate the myth that russia does not involve itself in the internal affairs of other nations. he mourns the loss of the empire and has set one of his goals to reconstruct the modern version of it through the proposed union. to do so he needs ukraine and does not need democratic revolution so close to moscow that threatens his tobacco on a kristie. so he reserves the right to resort to economic blackmail and in georgia in 2000 eight and now ukraine, military intervention to keep neighbors in mind. russia has been stoking the separatist sentiment for years and not doing it at gunpoint.
2:40 am
strong evidence suggests members of russian security forces are at the heart of the anti- security forces in crimea. they wear forces without insignia and drive your goals russian security forces license plates and the ukrainian military. my amendment simply reflects the consensus of international community and identifies the reality of the facts on the ground by calling on the russian federation to answer port for separatist and military forces in crimea. we could now to mr. sharpton. does call onment the president not to attend the -seven. i support that and hope that russian will support the
2:41 am
integrity of the ukraine, and nothing would make me happier than for russia to do the right thing and the president to enjoy his trip to sochi. i think it is understood that we are calling for the boycott. >> thank you. to mr. holding of north carolina. >> thank you. -- heard that ukraine will require a wide range of assistance from the united states and international partners. my amendment suppresses the support of the house to work with partners in the ukraine to improve transparency, combat corruption and individual rights through an independent to jewish area.
2:42 am
they are also the foundation on which democratic governance is built. i asked numbers to support my amendment and the package. i yield back. >> thank you. i want to thank you for accepting my amendment in the package. it strengthens the underlying bill by adding the second of financial trade and sanctions are not only russian federation officials but on russian and ukrainian à la parks and anyone complicit in the intervention. the president has made it clear the steps taken violates the ukraine sovereignty and integrity. and the administration are moving forward together to implementing tough sanctions and helping friends will consider the long-term applications, the weakness towards russia and what that will mean. i would like to add my support for mr. keating's amendment.
2:43 am
i have been concerned of having a naval contract with the russians. this has been beneficial in controlling the black sea coastline. a difficulty russia had in the illegal war with georgia is the inability to control the black sea coastline. this contract with french ship elders would give them that ability. i hope the eu partners took very closely at the relationship with russia and consider doing the right thing on behalf of freedom seeking people all over the globe. i yield back. were you seeking recognition on the amendment? so recognize. >> i will be very brief. i will will appreciate the chairman's consideration of this and basically calling on a
2:44 am
with theoining president and asking other democratic states to boycott the g-sevenit to convene at summit outside of russia and appreciate my colleague from california is pointing out in support of the amendment, and certainly all of us want to recognize the fact that if mr. a differents to go direction and reverse the course he is on, we will gladly look at restoring relationships. i also want to say in spite of what may have been heard here today, i want the ukrainian people to recognize democrats and republicans, the administration and congress are and will standr
2:45 am
up for them in this particular venture. support of the amendment. i yield back. are there any other members seeking recognition is no mr. brooks. >> thank you. that to someaid degree of american has been playing marbles, which if you have ever played it as a kid, you know the long-term strategy is not very in depth. playing chess. you understand you have to calculate each potential move of the opponent and have your response is available and that have -- at hand in order to ensure ultimate success. with the economic sanctions we are seeking, i am
2:46 am
inquiring of the members what the next move is, depending on what russia does. and in somectim or we impose7 significant economic sanctions, what might russia was responding how do we react if russia's next move is to say we will no longer allow you to hitch a ride to the international space station? in those america do circumstances as we are likely years away from having human spaceflight capability. the president solution to not only mothball the space shuttles but put them in museums rather
2:47 am
than have them available as a contingency, rather than what has arisen. russia is no longer going to deliver engines to the united launch alliance, which in turn, supplies our capability of launching a satellite into space. iny of them are military nature, highly classified. i query to mr. meadows or keating or chairman or any other is what is the next move is russia decides their next move flight to the international space station or deny us the rockets we need to
2:48 am
put satellites in space. do not get me wrong with the i intend to support the resolution because as a large degree, i see it as authorizing the executive branch to determine which economic sanctions are appropriate, and i personally believe that is the responsibility and duty, and i hope we will play chess rather than marbles. i would like to hear it. >> i think it is very andresting, cosmonauts astronauts are coming back together. even during the cold war we had old relationships in terms of some of that. the u.s. mission was something that happened. i also wonder if vladimir putin
2:49 am
when he makes a decision to terrorize neighbors, as he wanders all of these questions, too. society does not want to do anything because he is afraid it might hurt the space alliance. i would have fully and kindly say that reacting from a position of strength is the best thing we can do against the incursion and the ukraine. while i think what is the next step is a worthy question to have, i do not think adversaries wonder with the same caution. >> thank you. comment but your notice you did not answer my question. if anyone has and the idea for how we will engage in spaceflight, i am anxious to hear. to how we will integrate a satellite, i am anxious to hear.
2:50 am
i would hope members of the committee would significantly increase funding for nasa so we can very quickly resume to launch capabilities and return america to the position in space we held for decades. >> level yield missed so much time as i might. the point you raise is the very need to usee celebrity rehab have at our disposal right now in order to theyussia to recognize cannot continue to escalate this crisis in the eastern ukraine. if we were to wait and not take action, it is probable russia would be emboldened to recognize there is no consequence for actions. at that point it might move or attempt to move agents city hall by city hall across the eastern parts of the country.
2:51 am
lift theng them to russian flag and creating a division. within each of the provinces and towns and magnifying what could end up being a civil war within the ukraine and east. however, if we take action now and show there is economic consequences, and if europe stands with us and russia is isolated internationally so the vote at the united nations has the one vote in opposition, veto from russia, but all calling here for the rule of international law commitment it is quite hard bubble that with that type of leverage weakened the escalate the conduct on the back toputin and get us the point of cooperation. at this point, if we do not take decisive action, it is far more likely it will eclipse the joint
2:52 am
cooperation on programs such as those who are most concerned about right here. in that context, i would suggest this is the most responsible in order ton take weigh in and have russia consider the considerable downside effects, should they continue to escalate the crisis. yield.uld thank you. i want to respond to the gentleman's comments about an amendment. i plan to offer them in a few minutes. thatt to remind everyone suspending military cooperation was already one of the first acts.
2:53 am
before i offered that, i want that clarified. >> hearing no further request for recognition, the question occurs on the bipartisan bloc amendment, all those in favor say ayako all those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chairs the eyes have it in the opinion is agreed to. >> i have an amendment the desk. the clerk will report the amendment. amendment offered by keating a massachusetts. page five between the eighth and ninth result clauses, insert the following . >> without objection the amendment is considered red. the chair recognizes mr. keating to explain the amendment. was suspending most of
2:54 am
the alliance of meetings with russia and reviewing the entire range of nation russia cooperation. the baltic states, poland and other allies and central europe have called on nato members to impose an arms embargo. u.k. has said it is reviewing the arms export to russia. however, other numbers have said it would be premature. the key reason is concern about possible revenue losses. this amendment calls on european allies to suspend, export of military equipment that could be used to support russian aggression in the region. this is an obvious step for allies to take in response to unprovoked act of military aggression in their own neighborhood. i asked support of the emission -- of the amendment. >> do any other member state recognition? any further debate on the amendment? further request for
2:55 am
time, we will go then to the vote on the amendment. all those in favor of mr. keating amendment, please say i've. all those imposed -- opposed say no. the eyes have it. the amendment is agreed to. are there any other amendments? the chair recognizes mr. poe of texas. >> i have an amendment at the desk. >> the clerk will report the amendment. >> offered by mr. poe of texas, page six line nine. >> without objection, the amendment will be considered red. software tocognizes explain the amendment. >> ark twain once said history does not repeat itself but it
2:56 am
does rhyme. poet these days. first, the russians moved into mobile via 1992. they moved into the georgia in 2008. 1992.lvo in-- once again, i happened to be in the ukraine when they turned off the gas in the winter, and it was cold, and it was for political reasons but an economic weapon that rests and -- russians used against the ukrainian all. as we look at the ukrainian situation, it is a situation that is bigger than the ukraine. it is the russian influence on the region and holding the region hostage with the use of natural gas.ely
2:57 am
this past weekend the russians warned the discount on natural gas was in jeopardy. can do notmething we only to help the ukrainians but help stability in the area and the united states as well. that is by something american natural gas to the ukrainians, former summer -- soviet republicans, even western europe . there is demand and the american is overwhelming. we have more natural gas than we can use. the current reserves are roughly 90 seven times what the u.s. consumed in all of 2011. there is so much natural gas in north dakota that there are 15 would bets now, that equivalent to heating over one million homes, natural gas they are burning off. we have abundant natural gas in this country, primarily texas. there is an ice cream company --
2:58 am
that says webell eat all we can and we sell the rest. i think that should be the policy of natural gas. we use all we can and sell the rest. there is an opportunity to buttress the economic of the vocal what did the russians are using against the former soviet republicans -- republic to bring them back. this legislation would simply put part of this bill requirements that the united states have a policy of moving natural gas to the ukraine and other countries. the obama administration is pushing the idea. the ukrainian ambassador to ukraine said gas prompts influence will be weakened as american supplies are shipped to the global market.
2:59 am
his team is working to help the ukraine and other countries take away from the dependence of russian natural gas and exports would send a signal that the global gas market is changing and the united states is a player but the russian influence economically and politically is diminishing. my amendment calls from the increased natural gas exports to the ukraine and european countries. i reserve. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i would like to correct the record. in one respect i agree with everything he said, except for the greatest ice cream is made in cincinnati. i yield back. lex do you export it? >> the us, we do. everyone loves it. we do. >> mr. sherman of california. >> i rise and reluctant opposition to my colleagues. the amendment, i think it is important that we have a
3:00 am
thatution -- resolution passes overwhelmingly on the floor of the house in just a few hours. it was brought up under suspension. the way to do that is focused on where we are unified, our foreign policy towards the ukraine.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on