The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution on Monday to send military aid to Ukraine. In the resolution, US lawmakers stated that while providing lethal aid to Ukraine would help the country defend itself, it would also serve as part of a long-term strategy to “expose and challenge” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The bill, which was titled, “Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” passed 348-48.
The resolution stated that the Russian Federation under Putin has “engaged in relentless political, economic, and military aggression to subvert the independence and violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” which includes the “illegal and forcible occupation of Crimea by Russian military and security forces.”
According to the resolution, Russian military and security forces have been infiltrated and continue to provide direct combat support to separatists in Ukraine, which has resulted in “over 6,000 dead, 15,000 wounded, and more than a million displaced persons.”
“Failure to stop this aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, especially its unprovoked and armed intervention in a sovereign country, illegal and forcible occupation of its territory, and unilateral efforts to redraw the internationally-recognized borders of Ukraine undermines the foundation of the international order that was established and has been defended at great cost by the United States and its allies in the aftermath of World War II.“
The resolution went on to claim that Russian aggression against Ukraine is the “most visible and recent manifestation of a revisionist Kremlin strategy to redraw international borders and impose its will on its neighbors, including NATO allies.”
Quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko when he addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress in Sept. 2014, the resolution stated that although the US has provided Ukraine with a great deal of non-lethal assistance, “one cannot win a war with blankets.”
The resolution also quoted the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who said that the US should “absolutely consider providing lethal aid” to Ukraine and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who said during his confirmation hearing that he is “very much inclined” to providing Ukraine with lethal aid.
The resolution stated that the US and its allies should “provide assistance to support energy diversification and efficiency initiatives in Ukraine to lessen its vulnerability to coercion by the Russian Federation.”
“Whereas the United States and its allies need a long-term strategy to expose and challenge Vladimir Putin’s corruption and repression at home and his aggression abroad,” concluded the resolution.