U.S. Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Senate’s passage of Ukraine legislation sends a strong message of support to the Ukrainian people and a strong signal to Russia by imposing tough sanctions on the Putin regime for its illegal actions in Crimea.
“This bill sends a strong message of support to the Ukrainian people and a strong signal to Russia that there will be severe costs for Putin’s illegal actions in Crimea and for any further intervention in Ukraine,” said Senator Corker. “While I believe the proposed IMF reforms would support U.S. interests for fiscal stability in Ukraine and around the world, it’s important for Congress to act expeditiously in a unified way and send a bill to the president’s desk with economic aid and sanctions. Going forward, the administration must demonstrate a long-term commitment to stop Russian aggression and a willingness to drive shockwaves into the Russian economy to make the consequences clear to Putin should he continue on his current course.”
The bill 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 2015-2017 to provide security assistance for Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Sanctions for threats to Ukraine: Imposes mandatory sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, against persons determined to have engaged in violence or serious human rights abuses in Ukraine, activities undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including economic extortion, and on Russian officials and their associates that are responsible for or involved in significant corruption in Ukraine. Also provides for the imposition of additional sanctions on Russian officials and their associates that are responsible for or involved in significant corruption in Russia.
The legislation, which passed by a 98 to 2 vote, contains all the provisions of the bill that passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 12, except reforms to the International Monetary Fund that were removed by Senate leaders to expedite passage of the bill.