Engel: Sanctions 'good news,' but more needed

 

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called additional sanctions on Russia announced by the White House on Monday "good news," but urged additional measures.

"With these new measures, the United States is making it clear to President Putin --along with the people and businesses aligned with him -- that their actions have consequences," Engel said in a statement Monday.

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However, Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Relations Committee, called for further measures from the U.S. and its European allies.

"I call on our European allies and other partners around the world to ramp up their sanctions against Russia as well. It is critical that we collectively rally to the defense of Ukraine," he said.

European countries have been hesitant to impose harsher economic sanctions on Russia out of fear of disrupting natural gas exports to their countries or upsetting Russian oligarchs who live and spend money in European banking capitals.

“At the same time, I urge the Administration and our allies to continue helping the Government of Ukraine deal with the dire economic and security crisis in the country, and to prepare for free and fair elections and constitutional reforms that will return Ukraine to political and economic health," Engel said.

"The United States must continue to stand by the people of Ukraine as they seek to build a more democratic, prosperous, and just state and society," he said.