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Washington, D.C. – Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s address to a joint session of Congress:

“This morning, a joint session of Congress had the honor of hosting the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. He spoke of Ukraine’s great struggle for freedom and the importance of American leadership to preserve world order.

“President Poroshenko has faced a tremendous task in a trying time. His people cry for peace as his neighbor incites war. His country yearns for freedom, while Russia seeks to restore the Soviet empire. Since the Kremlin’s leaders began their scheme to destabilize Ukraine, violating its sovereignty and carving up its land, Ukrainians have responded with dignity and courage to protect their freedom. Unfortunately, the nations of the world—including the United States—have responded to Russian aggression too slowly and too weakly.

“From the beginning, the House of Representatives has stood with the people of Ukraine and the Maidan. The House passed new authorities for the President to curb Russian aggression and has called on President Obama to provide more assistance to the people, government, and military of Ukraine. Only yesterday, the House passed H. Res. 726, again calling on the Obama Administration to provide urgent military assistance to the government of Ukraine and to impose further consequences on Vladimir Putin’s government for its assault on Ukraine and its violations of international law.

“Russia has for too long been allowed to use its energy resources as a weapon, both against Ukraine and Europe, manipulating the price and threatening to turn off the flow of gas needed to heat homes during the bitter winter. Later today, the House will pass legislation that takes America’s growing energy abundance and expedites its ability to be traded to other free nations around the globe. Eastern Europe would see tremendous gain with diverse energy options, especially those from the United States.

“I commend President Poroshenko for the passion and determination he has shown guiding Ukraine on what remains a difficult path to restore the territorial integrity of his country and pursue greater friendship and integration with Europe and America. Now, America must stand with Ukraine in defense of freedom in the world.”