Congress Condemns Russia's Ukraine Invasion
Ukraine's new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is meeting today with President Barack Obama and members of Congress to seek U.S. support in the standoff with Russia over control of Crimea.
On Tuesday, Congress overwhelmingly condemned Russia's invasion. Their resolution also calls for international monitors in Crimea and eastern Ukraine as well as a boycott of the upcoming G8 Summit in Sochi, Russia.
Some Republicans want to go further by increasing natural gas shipments to Europe, undercutting Russia's economic power over Ukraine and other European countries.
"So the leverage it seems that we have is that 52 percent of the whole budget for the Russian military and the Russian government comes from their control of gas and oil. And at the same time you have six countries in Europe that are totally dependent upon gas from Russia," Rep. Ed Royce, House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.
Analysts warn that targeting Russia's economy could prompt President Vladimir Putin to respond with attacks against the U.S. economy.
"When the Russians entered Crimea and beginning their battle with Ukraine, we said we'll just impose economic sanctions on you," Kevin Freeman, author of Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber-Economic Attack, said.
"They said if you do that, we could dump our bonds and we could hack your stock market and we could make America no longer the financial leader of the world...In fact your financial system would collapse," he continued. "That's a direct threat, that's a new form of warfare. That's World War III just starting."
Meanwhile in Crimea, the parliament adopted a declaration of independence that says Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote to split off from Ukraine and join Russia. The referendum is set for Sunday.