Kyiv, 25 April 2014 – U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) called on the world community to unite efforts in countering the gas hegemony of the Russian Federation, which could largely restrain its aggression against Ukraine. “Russia is using energy as a weapon”, he said during a press-briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, noting that reducing dependence on Russian gas implies extra costs for customers, but “we’d rather pay that price than see the war taking a higher price”.
Senator Levin outlined three steps to be taken by the U.S.A. to support Ukraine today. The first is expediting promptly the aid that has already been promised. The second is providing additional support, including body armor and fuel, for Ukrainians to protect themselves. The third is applying more robust sanctions against the Russian financial, energy, metals, mining, engineering, and defense sectors, to ensure that Putin pays a price for his illegal actions against Ukraine.
U.S. Senator also emphasized the importance of further sanctioning Russian banks and dealing with Russia’s monopoly in the energy sector. “Russia uses manipulation of energy prices and supplies to coerce not only Ukraine, but many of its neighbours. To be effective, these actions must be taken in close coordination with our friends and allies in Europe – many of whom are directly affected by Russia’s abuses and threatened by its actions”.
Commenting on his two-days visit to Ukraine, Senator Levin said that he had met Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Acting President Turchynov, Defense Minister Koval and other political and military leaders to better understand the security situation facing Ukraine, and also visited the Maidan. “The Ukrainian people are going to need to carry on in the same spirit to pull off a free, fair election – as they want to do – in the face of unrelenting pressure and threats from the Russian Armed Forces and the people they have brought in to support them”, he concluded.
U.S. Senator Carl Levin is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Levin also serves on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He is a nationally recognized leader on national security.