House to condemn Russia for Ukraine intervention

The House on Tuesday is expected to formally condemn Russia for its military action in the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, less than a week after passing a bill giving financial aid to Ukraine.

Members will consider H.Res. 499, a non-binding resolution from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) that finds Russia's intervention is a "violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity."

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"[T]he Russian Federation's military intervention in Crimea represents a reckless escalation of its long-standing efforts to pressure Ukraine through political, diplomatic, and economic means to reduce its ties to Europe and the West and force it into a closer association with Russia," it reads.

"[T]he Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, and trade restrictions to place political pressure on Ukraine and other countries in the region," it adds.

The language finds that the intervention violates Russia's obligations under the United Nations Charter, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, and the Helsinki Final Act Declaration of Principles.

It concludes by saying the House condemns the violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and says Russia's action "poses a threat to international peace and security."

It calls on Russia to remove its military from the Crimean peninsula, and to stop supporting separatist forces in Crimea.

It also asks President Obama to boycott the G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia, and to convene a G-7 summit without Russia. It specifically asks Obama to "consider expelling Russia from the group, given its record of international aggression, domestic repression, and human rights records that are inconsistent with democratic standards."

The Crimean parliament has already voted to become part of Russia, and a referendum on that question will be held Sunday, March 16.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has voted to remove its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and has scheduled a late May presidential election.

Last Thursday, the House passed H.R. 4152, a bill allowing the U.S. to back up to $1 billion worth of Ukrainian loans. The loan guarantee bill is aimed at helping Ukraine pay its bills during its transition, and some say it will help offset Russia's reduced energy subsidies.