Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released the following statement on Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine:
"Russia's deployment of conventional military forces into Ukrainian territory and illegal recognition of its proxy entities on Ukrainian land constitute an unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine. These actions are an assault on Ukrainian sovereignty, a dangerous threat to the rules-based international order and UN charter, and are a transparent pretext for launching a full conventional military assault on the rest of Ukraine, which would inflict a horrific human cost. I strongly supported our diplomatic efforts to prevent a full-scale invasion from occurring. Tragically, Vladimir Putin appears to have rejected the path of diplomacy and instead chosen to inflict further suffering on innocent Ukrainian and Russian people.
"Together with the consequences levied by our allies, American sanctions will impose steep costs on Russia's government, its financial institutions, and its corrupt elite. I have long supported targeted sanctions that respond to Russia's repeated violations of international law, and I previously introduced bipartisan sanctions legislation after Russia poisoned three people on British soil.
"These sanctions -- coordinated with our NATO allies -- are a powerful display of unity by the Transatlantic alliance. I particularly commend Germany for terminating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline -- a testament to President Biden's strategy of strengthening our alliances rather than alienating them. As chair of the U.S.-Japan Caucus, I also welcome the involvement of Japan and other Indo-Pacific partners, particularly Singapore and Taiwan, in implementing export control sanctions that will further isolate the Russian economy. As Putin condemns his country to international isolation, the United States has shown our renewed power to unite the world around a just cause.
"As our nation rebuilds from the pandemic and confronts challenges to our own democracy, some have called on us to turn our backs on Ukraine or even -- alarmingly -- side with Russia. Either choice would be a terrible mistake. Already, Russian bellicosity has caused a global rise in energy prices and exacerbated inflation. If Putin chooses to continue this conflict, Americans could face higher prices on everything from cars to heating oil.
"I strongly support Ukraine's right to self-defense. The United States must ensure the Ukrainian people have what they need to defend their country, their homes, their families, and their democracy. We must also support the Ukrainians who are inevitably displaced in the refugee crisis Russia is creating. The United States will be ready to lead the world through the economic impacts of this crisis -- particularly on global energy and food prices that could be affected by Russian aggression."