Lowey Supports Loan Guarantees for Ukraine
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee and the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, today delivered the following statement on the House floor in support of legislation making loan guarantees available for Ukraine:
“We must come together today on a bipartisan basis to support the people of Ukraine and take a stand against Russia’s aggression and illegal violation of Ukraine’s sovereign and territorial integrity.
“Since last November, the world has watched with growing alarm as the hopes and democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people were met with violent crackdowns against activists, harassment of journalists and restrictive legislation limiting basic democratic freedoms. The bloody images from the City Square and rising death toll are horrific.
“Last month, the Ukrainian Parliament, the democratically elected institution, responsibly exercised its mandate and took action on behalf of the people of Ukraine. Within days, hope returned as the Parliament ousted the reckless and dangerous former President Yanukovych, began discussions with the IMF on a financial support package, and formed a transitional government with early elections scheduled for May.
“But Russia, through its dangerous and illegal military occupation of Crimea, has imperiled this progress and unnecessarily escalated this crisis. Russia has violated international law and its own treaty obligations with the Ukraine. Ukraine now teeters on the brink of disaster and bloodshed, and I urgently call upon President Putin to work with Kiev and the international community to de-escalate the situation immediately.
“Now is the time for us to support the people of Ukraine. I strongly support President Obama’s comprehensive aid package to support Ukraine which includes $1 billion in loan guarantees, technical assistance on trade, and recovery of stolen assets. The IMF is working with the transitional government in Kiev and is instrumental in stabilizing the Ukrainian economy. This crisis illustrates the importance of the IMF to our national and global security interests, and I hope the final assistance package we enact for Ukraine will include support for IMF.
“In addition, I urge my colleagues in Congress to support the IMF quota reforms in the President’s budget request, which would expand the IMF’s capacity to respond to these kinds of crises and maintain U.S. leadership, instead of continuing to pursue short-sighted, isolationist attacks on the IMF.
“In the meantime, however, we should not let the perfect stand as the enemy of the good. In the bipartisan spirit of this bill, I urge my colleagues to vote yes to stand beside the people of Ukraine in their hour of darkness.”