Senate mulls limited Russian sanctions

The Senate is moving forward with limited sanctions on Russia, according to a draft bill prepared by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and obtained by The Hill.

The bill would freeze assets and deny visas to people involved in the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. 
{mosads}Three categories of targets are outlined: those involved in suppressing Ukrainian protests, those involved in “significant” corruption and those involved in violating the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine.

President Obama would have the authority to determine who specifically would be subject to the sanctions. 

The bill could end up hitting a wide range of Russian businessmen. It includes “any individual that the President determines materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services” to the corrupt or military activities described.

It also gives Obama the right to waive sanctions if it is in the national interest to do so. 
The sanctions closely resemble steps the administration has already said it has the option to impose under an executive order signed last week. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that he is focused on “de-escalating” the crisis with Russia and wants to present Russia’s foreign minister with the threat of “costs” it could incur at a Friday meeting over the Crimea crisis. 

The bill also includes language providing aid to Ukraine and keeps a controversial provision that would reallocate U.S. contributions to the International Monetary Fund and approve 2010 reforms proposed at the IMF. Many Republicans oppose that language.  

It includes $150 million in new direct aid to Ukraine for both civil and military uses.
To pay for the new spending, the bill cancels $157 million in spending in Air Force, Army and missile defense procurement funds currently appropriated. Another $157 million are canceled out of State department development assistance accounts and from the Export-Import Bank.
This story was updated at 1:35 p.m.
Tags Aid Crimea Foreign policy John Kerry Russia Ukraine

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