Gerlach applauds lawmakers for toughening Russia stance

Congressional Ukrainian Caucus Co-Chair Jim Gerlach (R-PA) praised U.S. lawmakers on Sunday for passing legislation last week that allows lethal and non-lethal military aid for Ukraine and also strengthens sanctions against Russia.

“I am extremely pleased the House and Senate worked together on an aid package that holds President (Vladimir) Putin and Russian officials accountable for propping up separatists in eastern Ukraine who have wreaked havoc and claimed the lives of more than 4,000 civilians and military personnel in eastern Ukraine,” Gerlach said. 

The Senate vote in favor of The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 followed approval by the House late Thursday, making it the final bill passed during the two-year session. The legislation was sent to the president for his signature, which would then make it law. 

“The bipartisan effort in the House and Senate sends an unmistakable message to Vladimir Putin and the entire world that the United States fully supports the people of Ukraine in their desire to remain an independent, democratic nation,” Gerlach said. “I truly believe an independent, democratic Ukraine enhances the security of the United States and offers greater economic opportunity for citizens in both countries.”