Washington, DC—On Sunday March 16, Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), released the following statement in response to the seizure of a natural gas terminal near the Crimean border by Russian forces: 

"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."