Rep. Schiff Statement on Returning from Congressional Trip to Ukraine – "We Must Do More to Respond"

Washington, DC –Last night, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee and State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, returned from a congressional delegation trip (CODEL) to Ukraine and Lithuania.  During the trip, he assessed the situation on the ground in Ukraine, talked with government, military and intelligence officials, attended a NATO conference in Lithuania, and discussed the concerns in the Baltic states with the situation in Ukraine and Crimea.

“In light of the brazen violation of international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty in Crimea, the continued large presence of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and the threat to other nations in the region, the U.S. and international community must do more to respond.  Even in the absence of further Russian incursions into Ukraine, Russia’s ongoing efforts to destabilize the country’s eastern regions through political interference, clandestine activities and massive propaganda campaign compel us to strengthen the sanctions regime, provide greater intelligence support and increase assistance to combat Russian propaganda.

“Stronger sanctions against Russia and more meaningful assistance to Ukraine is essential not only to reaffirm our support for state sovereignty, territorial integrity and the rule of law, but to honor our commitments under the Budapest Memorandum.  If the assurances of that agreement are to have substance, they must mean more than the actions the international community has thus far undertaken.  Otherwise, some nations may choose nuclear proliferation as a better guarantor of their territorial integrity than the force of international agreement and support.  Russia must be made to feel a real economic cost to its belligerence or we encourage further reckless adventurism.  The U.S. and its partners should also amp up NATO support in the region to reassure our allies that we stand firmly behind Article 5’s guarantee of collective security that is the linchpin of NATO’s existence.”