Ayotte plans financial sanctions bill against Russia

Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteThe Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP Audit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years MORE (R-N.H.) said Thursday that she is writing a bill that would impose tough new financial sanctions on Russia and provide aid for Ukrainian forces.

"Sanctions with teeth will send a clear message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that his illegal annexation of Crimea won't go unpunished," she said in a statement.

The sanctions would prevent U.S. banks from transacting with certain Russian banks, and bar new investment by U.S. citizens in the Russian Federation. Those sanctions would remain in place until Russian troops are withdrawn from Crimea.

If Putin took further aggressive moves, there would be more severe sanctions against Russia's energy sector.

"While I appreciate the initial steps the president took, it's clear additional sanctions are needed — especially as Putin continues amassing Russian troops on Ukraine's border," Ayotte said.

Ayotte's bill also calls for providing Ukrainian forces with "certain small arms," as well as medical supplies, clothing, Meals Ready to Eat packages, communications equipment, mine detection equipment, water containers and purification stations, and generators.