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Saturday, February 17, 2018

U.S. Senator Cruz encourages Ukraine energy independence

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) visited Ukraine last week where he met with business leaders of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky and President-elect Petro Poroshenko, along with other officials, and encouraged the country to reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

Cruz said his visit was inspired by the country's fight to root out corruption in government through protest. He discussed the use of alternative drilling methods in the country to increase its production of natural gas and end its dependence on fuel from Russia.

"We want to make natural gas available as LNG to help Europe and Ukraine free themselves from the blackmail and political pressure that Russia has been able to exert for years," Cruz said.

Cruz said the country did not need new tax incentives to boost development of U.S. port facilities and LNG tankers, adding that "huge numbers of investors" in his home state of Texas have the funding necessary to build such infrastructure if the country can eliminate "unnecessary regulations."

"I want to see further development of our ability to extract and make available more natural gas and I want to see Ukraine have the chance to develop its own resources in the same way to make you free of pressures from Russia," Cruz said. "I strongly support Ukraine and its fight for freedom, democracy, economic stability and growth and against aggression. I also support more the U.S. assisting in providing more financial support for private business... and support for Ukraine in helping defend itself."