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U.S. Senate introduces bill with new Russia sanctions

On Wednesday, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, along with 25 other Democrats, presented a draft Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act 2022, which provides for new sanctions against Russia and additional support for Ukraine.

That's according to a statement released on the Committee’s website, Ukrinform reports.

"The Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022 would impose crippling sanctions on the Russian banking sector and senior military and government officials if President Putin escalates hostile action in or against Ukraine," the statement said.

Read also: Bill to grant Ukraine NATO Plus status submitted to U.S. Congress

Among other things, the bill bans transactions on Russia's primary and secondary sovereign debt and authorizes sanctions on Russia's extractive industries as well as blocks Russia's access to the international banking system (SWIFT). In addition, the document calls on the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department to expedite the transfer of defense assistance to Ukraine in order to increase its defense capabilities. To this end, Ukraine is expected to receive an additional $500 million from the U.S. budget in the event of a Russian invasion.

At the same time, the bill proposes to expand U.S. efforts to counter Kremlin disinformation, as well as to strengthen ties with key regional partners threatened by Russian aggression.

"This legislation makes it absolutely clear that the U.S. Senate will not stand idly by as the Kremlin threatens a re-invasion of Ukraine," said Senator Robert Menendez, the bill’s author.

He expressed doubts that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin was negotiating in good faith. "Ultimately the most effective sanction on Russia is a strong and unified Ukraine, and I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues so that we can provide the people of Ukraine the type of support they need to confront the bully in Moscow," Menendez said.

It should be recalled that, in order for the bill to enter into force, it must be heard in the relevant committees and approved by a general vote in both chambers of the U.S. Congress. The document is then be signed by President of the United States.

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