Thursday, March 13, 2014

US Senate debating sanctions on Russia

A US Senate committee has passed legislation that would impose sanctions against Russia over its intervention in Ukraine and provide aid to Ukraine.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill on Wednesday.

The bill allows the US government to freeze assets held in the United States by Russian individuals and organizations deemed a threat to Ukraine's stability.

The legislation also authorizes one billion dollars in loan guarantees to help Ukraine's interim government deal with the economic crisis as well as 150 million dollars in aid to the government.

The bill also increases the US contribution to the International Monetary Fund, which will play a central role in helping Ukraine financially.

The bill needs to be approved by the full Senate and pass the House of Representatives to become law.

But Republican lawmakers, who dominate the House, oppose raising the US contribution to the IMF.

The legislation would support President Barack Obama, who signed an executive order on March 6th to punish those involved in Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.