WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Poe introduced two proposals to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Fight Russian Energy Exploitation (FREE) Act and the Russia Visa Sanctions Act would require the Department of Energy to fast-track permits for natural gas sales to Ukraine, other former Soviet states and nations in the European Union.  The Russia Visa Sanctions Act imposes immediate VISA sanctions on Russia.

 “Putin believes he can get away with invading sovereign nations like Ukraine, because he knows they depend on Russia to survive. Much of the former Soviet territories and Europe are at the mercy of the Kremlin when it comes to energy security. We can free these nations from the shackles of Moscow by encouraging them to pivot to the West and buy American natural gas instead. Selling our natural gas would benefit the United States economy, help our allies in Europe, eliminate Russia’s energy monopoly and lessen their influence.”

“Meanwhile, the United States must deny VISAs to any Russian government official. Our response to the action of Putin must be aggressive and the Russian government has lost the right to enter this country until it can demonstrate respect for the international rule of law. 

The Fight Russian Energy Exploitation (FREE) Act would require the Department of Energy to expedite and approve any permits to Ukraine, all former Soviet nations and all members of the European Union.

The Russia Visa Sanctions Act would withhold all VISA’s—both official and tourist—for all Russian government officials until the Secretary of State certifies that:

1) All Russian military activity has ceased.

2) Russia once again respects the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine as they agreed to under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances for Ukraine.