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house Bill H.R. 463

Should the U.S. Refuse To Recognize Russian Sovereignty Over Crimea?

Argument in favor

Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea sets a dangerous precedent for the potential annexation of other neighboring nations, such as Moldova, Georgia, and the Baltic Republics.

Maryann's Opinion
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01/26/2017
Let's not encourage Russia to invade any more countries
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Abby's Opinion
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01/26/2017
To whom it may concern: As somebody who lived in Ukraine and with Ukrainians for 10 months, this was an outrageous international violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.
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01/26/2017
Here's another one I listened as they called my President a Muslim. I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys. I listened as they said he wasn't born here. I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could. I saw the pictures of him as Hitler. I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice. I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog. I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was. I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn. I watched as they did just that. I listened. I watched. I paid attention. Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant. To move forward. To denounce protesters. To "Get over it." To accept this... I will not. I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be. I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get. I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country. I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice. I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them. Them. The people who voted for him. The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win. I will do this so that they never forget. And they will hear me. They will see it in my eyes when I look at them. They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them. They will know that I know who they are. They will know that I know what they are. Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can. Now it's their turn to tolerate ridicule. Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump's fault just as much as they thought it was Obama's. I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give." Author unknown.
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Argument opposed

Crimean citizens reportedly voted in favor of joining the Russia Federation. The U.S. shouldn’t condemn an action that was supported by the people who were directly affected.

Steve's Opinion
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01/26/2017
It appears that the Crimean people voted to join the Russian Federation. If that is the case, then the U.S. should stay out of its politics. However, if Crimea was coerced into joining the Russian Federation, then the U.S. should condemn the annexation.
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ArmchairActivist's Opinion
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01/26/2017
The US has no right to determine if an election is valid or not. Couldn't the same be said about our own recent election? We must stop interjecting our belief system in every corner of the world. This is a matter better left to the UN, if deemed necessary.
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BenR's Opinion
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01/26/2017
While I believe that the justification Russia gave for their occupation to be a thinly veiled excuse to protect their own economic interests in the area it is not the United States responsibility to protect any country other than our own barring some massive human rights violation. If the Crimean people voted to join Russia then we have no authority to stop them. Look at this in terms of the brexit vote. Whether this will result in good things or bad things the people made their decision and will have to live with the consequences.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment
    IntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 463?

This bill would prohibit the U.S. government from recognizing the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, a territory Russia annexed from Ukraine in March 2014. It would prohibit federal departments and agencies from taking any action that recognizes or implies the recognition of this annexation. 

The bill would authorize the President to waive these prohibitions in the event that it is necessary to do so to protect U.S. national security interests.

Impact

Federal U.S. departments and agencies, Ukrainian citizens, people who live in the Crimean region, the Russian government, Congress, and U.S./Russia diplomatic relations.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 463

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced this bill to prohibit federal agencies from taking actions that recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea:

"The United States must lead the way in refusing to recognize or legitimate the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Congress must be a loud and declarative voice for sovereignty. Failure to stand up against Putin's illegal annexation of Crimea will set a dangerous and irrevocable precedent. Acquiescence on the part of the U.S. threatens the security of all sovereign nations."

Identical legislation passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee in both the 113th and 114th Congress, but it didn't receive a vote on the House floor.


Of Note: Small protests began in Ukraine in November 2013 following then-President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to abandon an agreement for closer trade relations with the European Union (EU). He instead sought closer economic cooperation with Russia. The Ukrainian government responded to public unrest by passing an anti-protest law, which escalated the protests. Activist leaders, the political opposition, and Yanukovich eventually reach an agreement to hold early elections in order to form a new government.

Unhappy with the new administration in Ukraine, pro-Russian protesters rallied in the eastern Ukrainian region of Crimea. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin then deployed hundreds of Russian troops to Crimea in order to maintain order in the region, claiming that Russia reserves the right to protect the ethnic Russians in Crimea.

On March 6, 2014, Crimea’s parliament voted in favor of succeeding from Ukraine and joining Russia. A public referendum was conducted, wherein over 93 percent of Crimean citizens reportedly voted in favor of union with Russia. The U.S. and other Western nations subsequently deemed the referendum illegal. Ignoring international condemnation, Vladimir Putin continued with the signing of the treaty to absorb Crimea into Russia on March 18, 2014. The United States and the European Union responded with heavy economic sanctions on Russia.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user mwmbwls)

AKA

Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act

Official Title

To prohibit United States Government recognition of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

    Let's not encourage Russia to invade any more countries
    Like (611)
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    It appears that the Crimean people voted to join the Russian Federation. If that is the case, then the U.S. should stay out of its politics. However, if Crimea was coerced into joining the Russian Federation, then the U.S. should condemn the annexation.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    To whom it may concern: As somebody who lived in Ukraine and with Ukrainians for 10 months, this was an outrageous international violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.
    Like (538)
    Follow
    Share
    Here's another one I listened as they called my President a Muslim. I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys. I listened as they said he wasn't born here. I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could. I saw the pictures of him as Hitler. I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice. I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog. I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was. I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn. I watched as they did just that. I listened. I watched. I paid attention. Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant. To move forward. To denounce protesters. To "Get over it." To accept this... I will not. I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be. I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get. I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country. I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice. I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them. Them. The people who voted for him. The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win. I will do this so that they never forget. And they will hear me. They will see it in my eyes when I look at them. They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them. They will know that I know who they are. They will know that I know what they are. Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can. Now it's their turn to tolerate ridicule. Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump's fault just as much as they thought it was Obama's. I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give." Author unknown.
    Like (461)
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    If this bill passes the US can officially discourage Russia from annexing anymore territory from newly capitalized nations. It is in americas best interest financially, politically, and ethically
    Like (263)
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    We do not legitimize criminal actions against sovereign states
    Like (247)
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    Sovereign nations have the right to not have their borders infringed upon by aggressor nations. If the people of Crimea wish to be part of the Russian Federation due to ethnic or other ties, that is fine, but this action should be formalized through legal and diplomatic means. In taking Crimea by means of illegal military annexation, Russia has proved that their claim to the territory is illegitimate, and so it should not be recognized.
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    Invasion is pretty clearly an act of violence.
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    If Crimea wishes to be part of Russia then legal action should be taken to do so. An invasion by force should not be recognized.
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    There is a strong historical argument for the Crimea as a Russian territory. However, the means by which this was achieved were in clear violation of the accords signed by Russia herself upon which rest the security of a number of other distinctly non-Russian counties in the region. Blessing the Russian violation of these accords will inflame - with good reason - the already palpable fear of Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Czechs etc all that they are next.
    Like (48)
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    The US has no right to determine if an election is valid or not. Couldn't the same be said about our own recent election? We must stop interjecting our belief system in every corner of the world. This is a matter better left to the UN, if deemed necessary.
    Like (37)
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    ‘Under Article 2 of the UN Charter the forceful acquisition of territory is illegal. This is clearly what happened in relation to Crimea. It doesn’t matter what the result of the so-called referendum was, or what the will of the Crimean people may have been. Russia used force against the territorial integrity of Ukraine. That cannot be retrospectively legitimised,’ says Robert Volterra, an expert in public international law at London-based Volterra Fietta.
    Like (37)
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    While I believe that the justification Russia gave for their occupation to be a thinly veiled excuse to protect their own economic interests in the area it is not the United States responsibility to protect any country other than our own barring some massive human rights violation. If the Crimean people voted to join Russia then we have no authority to stop them. Look at this in terms of the brexit vote. Whether this will result in good things or bad things the people made their decision and will have to live with the consequences.
    Like (35)
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    Russia's annexation of Crimea was a clear violation of international law. US acquiescence in this conquest will only encourage Russia - and other powerful states - to prey on their less powerful neighbors.
    Like (30)
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    We should stand with Ukraine and our NATO allies.
    Like (28)
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    As an Estonian-American, these countries have no desire to be under Russia including Crimea. Don't believe in Russian propaganda saying they want to be a part of Russia.
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    My grandfather came to America from the Ukraine and it makes me sick what Russia does please do not assist them or endorse their invasions any longer in any way.
    Like (20)
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    We should learn from the past and not give tacit approval to the annexation of territory.
    Like (16)
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    It is hypocritical to disregard the will of a people as expressed by their votes simply because a preferred government disagrees with the outcome.
    Like (14)
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    It was illegal then & it is still illegal. We should not reward actions like this (in the hopes that it'll dissuade others) & our global interests warrant taking a much tougher stance against 'leaders' who practice "strong-arm statesmanship" -- it's just bullying on a different scale.
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