Russian Gas Supplies Through Ukraine Turned Off

Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the US delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, released a statement in response to the seizure of a natural gas terminal near the Crimean border by Russian forces. While the plant’s seizure looks to be motivated by Russian desire to control local Crimean energy infrastructure and keep it out of Ukrainian opposition hands, the military action raised eyebrows among energy analysts.

Here’s what Congressman Turner had to say about the incident and Putin’s actions generally:

“Putin’s seizure of this terminal on the eve of the secession referendum in Crimea sent an international message of defiance.

This act further entrenches what we have known for weeks: Russia is an aggressor state and the reset policies employed by the Obama Administration were sorely misguided.

Putin has enjoyed a functional monopoly on natural gas exports in Europe for far too long and has used this monopoly to exert control. Putin’s latest action highlights Europe’s vulnerability and proves why the United States must help our allies diversify their energy resources.

We cannot stand idly by as Putin continues this pattern of aggression and today’s supposed referendum in Crimea cannot go without consequence. Regardless of the outcome, this vote is a sham and a flagrant violation of international law.

The United States must take quick action to increase U.S. natural gas exports to our European allies, strengthen our ties with NATO, and support the Ukrainian people. U.S. action is uniquely critical to bolster security throughout the region and provide a counterweight to Russian aggression.”