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Womack Backs Legislation to Support Ukraine and Deter Russia

Congressman Womack advocates for and cosponsors legislation to support Ukraine and deter Russia

Washington, DC – January 26, 2022….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today announced his support for the Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act (GUARD Act). The legislation provides critical protection to Ukraine as it faces the threat of an invasion from Russia by immediately sanctioning Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline and increasing support for Ukraine’s freedom.

Congressman Womack said, “As Vice President, Joe Biden stood idle as Russia annexed Crimea. Now, as the leader of the free world, he’s watching Putin’s unchecked aggression and escalation of troops on Ukraine’s border. Moscow can’t be allowed to steal the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people. Peace through strength doesn’t happen through appeasement. This legislation provides deterrence by establishing direct consequences against invasion and Kremlin hostility.”

This legislation would:

  • Substantially and immediately increases material support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including funding for weaponry, training, and military reform.
  • Designate Ukraine as a “NATO Plus” country to ensure the expeditious consideration of the sale of a range of U.S. defense articles and services.  
  • Strengthen targeted sanctions on Nord Stream 2, a Russian malign influence project designed to undermine Ukraine and threaten European energy security.
  • Establish stronger Congressional oversight over the Biden Administration’s use of Russia sanctions by:
    • Providing Congress a veto over the removal of a wider range of Russia-related sanctions, including those related to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Biden Administration’s April Executive Order 14024 (Blocking Property With Respect To Specified Harmful Foreign Activities Of The Government Of The Russian Federation).
    • Establishing a mechanism to require the Administration to review certain persons submitted by Congress for eligibility for Russia-related sanctions. 
  • Establish diplomatic and military deterrents to counter Russian aggression by:
    • Reaffirming NATO’s 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration supporting Ukraine and Georgia’s bid to become members of the alliance.
    • Rejecting Russia’s proposal for a deployment moratorium of intermediate-range ground-launched missiles in Europe and requiring a strategy on cooperation with NATO allies on conventional intermediate-range missiles.  
    • Calling on the Administration to move expeditiously to submit a nominee for the Ambassador to Ukraine. 
    • Requiring a determination on whether the Government of Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.
    • Limiting security risks related to U.S.-Russian military cooperation.
  • Authorizing $155 million for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to combat Russian disinformation and information operations in the Former Soviet Union for the year 2022.
  • Reaffirming U.S. policy of unwavering commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty.

Read the full text of the bill here.

Cosponsoring and advocating for the GUARD Act builds on Congressman Womack’s continued work to combat authoritarian regimes. He has long been an opponent of the Putin-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline and consistently taken legislative action to stop its development. He has previously met with Ukrainian parliamentary leaders and heard firsthand about the real-world implications of Nord Stream 2, including how the completed project will undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and security and allow Russia to continue its malign behavior. Womack has been a steadfast supporter of defense efforts and programs to deter Russian influence through the appropriations process, as well as policies advancing Ukraine’s goals of peace, freedom, and democracy.

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

womack.house.gov

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