Senator Bob Corker on Wednesday made the following statement regarding the committee’s passage of bipartisan legislation in response to the crisis in Ukraine. The bill, which passed 14-3, will support Ukraine’s political and economic transition without adding to the debt and impose sanctions on those who threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“This bill cements more fully 60 years of U.S. national interests to ensure Europe remains democratic, whole and free. I believe we’re at a defining moment right now, where our friends and allies are watching to see if we’re going to do those things that are appropriate to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty, and I think this bill absolutely meets that test,” said Senator Corker.
The bill also implements reforms regarding U.S. participation in the International Monetary Fund that will help facilitate financial support for Ukraine without increasing U.S. financial commitments at the IMF.
“Our nation agreed to these reforms in 2010, and the crisis occurring in Ukraine is a perfect example for why we need the IMF to help Ukraine’s democratic and economic transition,” said Senator Corker. “This measure will help ensure developing economies have a bigger share in the costs and responsibilities, so the U.S. isn’t bearing the heaviest burden when a crisis hits.”
The Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, which relies on appropriated funds within existing restraints on federal spending, includes the following provisions:
· Loan Guarantees: Authorizes the State Department to provide funds for the purpose of loan guarantees for Ukraine.
· Asset Recovery from Corrupt Ukrainian Officials: Requires the State Department and Justice Department to assist the Ukrainian government in the recovery of assets amassed by corruption Ukrainian officials, including former President Viktor Yanukovych.
· Democracy and Governance Assistance: Authorizes $50 million for the purpose of technical, democracy, and civil society assistance for Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries.
· Enhanced Security Cooperation with Ukraine and Europe: Directs the President and authorizes up to $100 million over FY 2015-17 to provide security assistance for Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
· Sanctions for Threats to Ukraine: Imposes sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, against persons determined to have engaged in violence or serious human rights abuses in Ukraine or activities undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
· IMF Reform: Authorizes quota reforms in the IMF that help maintain American influence in the Fund and its veto power. U.S. financial commitments at the IMF would not increase, because while the U.S. contribution to the IMF’s main source of funding (or quota) will increase from an estimated $63 billion to $126 billion, the U.S. will reduce a corresponding $63 billion from U.S. contributions to a separate IMF account (the “New Arrangements to Borrow”) that was approved by Congress in 2009 to provide additional stability in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The budgetary impact of this provision is fully offset with current year spending.