U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Bourne, who is the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment, and Cyber, introduced legislation on Thursday to “bar U.S. recognition of the Russian Federation’s claim of sovereignty over any portion of the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine” with Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, a ranking member of the subcommittee, according to a press release. The bill also prohibits any federal department or agency from “taking any action or extending any assistance that implies recognition” of Russia’s “illegal claim of sovereignty over Ukraine’s territory, airspace, or territorial waters.”
“This bipartisan bill sends a clear message: The United States will never yield and recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukraine,” Fitzpatrick said in the release. “Chairman Keating and I will remain staunch advocates for Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, and accountability for Russia’s genocidal war crimes.”
The bill is a response to the staged referendums Russia is holding in the eastern Ukrainian territories in an attempt to annex them, an act widely condemned by the international community.
According to the release, this bill is a “House companion” to The Non-Recognition of Russian Annexation of Ukrainian Territory Act (S.4937), which was introduced by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, with 29 cosponsors, including Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts.
“This bill is a simple, yet resolute statement from both chambers of Congress: Russia’s war in Ukraine, its illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory, and the horrific crimes of genocide it is committing against the Ukrainian people will never be accepted,” Keating said in the release. “The United States will continue to support an independent Ukraine, and never recognize any violation by Russia of Ukraine’s sovereign territorial integrity.”
A copy of the bill can be found at bit.ly/3UOuWE3.