By By Laura Barron-Lopez and Erik Wasson - 03/03/14 05:04 PM EST
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Obama should be increasing natural gas exports to Ukraine to help make the case for sanctions on Monday.
The GOP vice presidential candidate blasted Obama during the last election for his handling of Russia. The country's gas-export monopoly OAO Gazprom threatened to end its agreement from last year to supply Ukraine with cheaper natural gas.
The answer, Ryan says, is for the U.S. to export more of the so-called bridge fuel.
“This is one more chapter of what happens when you project weakness abroad through your foreign policy, through your defense policy,” Ryan said in a radio appearance on “The Michael Medved Show.” “Aggression fills that vacuum and we are seeing that.”
“The things he ought to be doing are rallying the case for sanctions; specifically, we should be upping our exports of natural gas to this region and showing there will be real consequences to these kind of actions,” Ryan said.
Ryan also said that he is confident that, once the GOP gets more political power, it could reverse Obama’s fiscal and economic policies, but he is worried the damage Obama has done to foreign affairs will take much longer to fix.
Fellow Republican lawmakers, Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) and Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.), also chimed in on Monday.
“Expanding U.S. LNG [liquefied natural gas] exports is an opportunity to combat Russian influence and power, and we have an energy diplomacy responsibility to act quickly," Upton said in a statement.
"The Department of Energy's approval process for LNG exports is unnecessarily putting our allies at the mercy of Vladimir Putin. Now is the time to send the signal to our global allies that U.S. natural gas will be an available and viable alternative to meet their energy needs."
Hoeven said the events in Ukraine highlight the "importance of developing the United States’ domestic energy resources to achieve energy independence."