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POLITICS: PennAve

House panel chairman calls for 'crippling sanctions' on Russia

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,House of Representatives,Russia,National Security,PennAve,Foreign Policy,Ukraine

A House panel Thursday will consider legislation that would impose economic sanctions on Russia if it does not withdraw from Ukraine.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement that the United States must act “now” to pressure Russia to pull its military out of the country.

The hearing, he said, would examine legislative options and put pressure on the administration to consider significant sanctions, which so far President Obama has not fully endorsed.

“We must place crippling sanctions on Russian high-ranking officials, state-owned banks and commercial enterprises, and key individuals behind the Russian intervention,” Royce said. “Only by forcing [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to reverse his aggression and by supporting Ukraine in this time of national crisis can we hope to restore peace in the region.”

Congress is also putting together a $1 billion loan guarantee package for Ukraine that House GOP leaders said they intend to pass swiftly. The money would be used to lessen the country's dependence on Moscow for fuel, which Putin has used to maintain control.

“We will hopefully be moving forward expeditiously,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Wednesday, “to give the administration the necessary tools it needs to tell Mr. Putin to stand down.”

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