Washington, D.C.— Tonight, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) voted in support of a robust supplemental assistance package to Ukraine.  After his vote, Congressman Barr released the following statement:

“President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people continue to inspire the world with a determined and courageous defense of their freedom and independence.  Tonight, I proudly voted for a comprehensive package to defend global democracy, boost the Ukrainian defense and position the freedom fighters in Ukraine to not only resist the Russian onslaught, but take the fight to the communist occupiers and win this war.  Ukraine’s victory against the Russian invaders and robust American support of that cause is now the surest way to deter further Russian aggression against NATO and prevent a larger scale conflict between the United States, our allies and Russia, which would place U.S. military forces in direct combat and require far more resources than the emergency funding approved tonight.

“This package provides the Ukrainians $24 billion in direct military support, including $4 billion for Foreign Military Financing that I have been advocating since the invasion began.  Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense will now have the authority to transfer up to $11 billion in defense equipment to Ukraine and our allies, an increase of $8 billion above current levels. These provisions are key for delivering the stinger and javelin missiles to Ukraine necessary to defend against Russian air attacks that targeted and killed innocent Ukrainian civilians.  In response to the humanitarian disaster brought on by these Russian air assaults and other Putin war crimes, Congress is also appropriating $15 billion in aid to Ukraine to enhance food security and economic assistance.

“Finally, this legislation ensures hazard pay is distributed to American military service-members deployed near Ukraine and allocates $327 million to safely reopen the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. 

“Although I strongly support this bipartisan package for Ukraine, I also continue to call on Congress to pass my bill to close the energy loophole in U.S. sanctions against Russian banks. Until the No Energy Revenues for Russian Hostilities Act of 2022 is enacted into law and implemented, Russian oil and natural gas sales will continue to finance Putin’s war machine.  It is time to close that loophole, extend the sanctions to energy-related transactions and crush the Russian economy once and for all.”

Despite the U.S. ban on Russia oil and gas imports, a major loophole for Russian energy still exists in our sanctions.  U.S. banks and financial institutions can still be involved in transactions for Russian energy to other countries.  Congressman Barr’s “No Energy Revenues for Russian Hostilities Act of 2022,” prohibits banks and financial institutions from processing Russian energy transactions unless the Secretary of Treasury grants a waiver.  If the Secretary grants a waiver to allow the transaction, funds used in the transaction wouldn’t be given to the Russian energy company but instead would be placed in escrow.  Therefore, these funds could be used as leverage to get the Russians to stop their war in Ukraine.