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(CNN) – Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, is in Ukraine, and is pushing for the U.S. to provide more oil and gas to the region.
"You've got to strike (Russian President Vladimir) Putin at a point which will really weaken him. And energy security here in the region is a big concern in eastern Europe. We need to move decisively on that point," says Royce.
The U.S. has accused Russia of fomenting instability in Ukraine.
Royce says a one-two punch – weakening Russia's hold on energy in the region, while also imposing tougher sanctions that "will implode" Russia's economy and further isolate the country – will help resolve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
"That's the most effective leverage we have to deploy. If we can combine energy security for the region with that, we'll give the Europeans a lot more confidence to stand, you know, in unison on this front. And we will further undercut Russia's control in Ukraine," says Royce.
For more of our interview with Congressman Ed Royce, check out the video above.
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The Lead with Jake Tapper draws not only on Tapper’s deep knowledge of politics and national issues, but also seeks to examine and advance stories across a wide range of topics that demonstrate his own curiosities and interests. Compelling headlines come from around the country and the globe, from politics to money, sports to popular culture, based on news drivers of the day.
The Lead with Jake Tapper airs weekdays at 4 p.m. ET.
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