Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with more than 30 Republican senators, presented a bill to Congress that would impose sanctions on Russia already at the current stage of escalation. The document also contains paragraphs of additional funding for Ukraine amid Russian aggression.
"While a ‘military’ invasion has not yet occurred, there are other ways Russia can attack Ukraine that would be debilitating for Ukrainian and European security more generally," Risch stressed.
The bill provides for:
- an immediate halt to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and the imposition of sanctions against it in case of an invasion;
- introducing restrictive measures against Russian banks and secondary sanctions against banks that continue to cooperate with financial institutions from the Russian Federation;
- imposing sanctions on "Putin's cronies, enablers, and major banks" prior to the invasion to ensure the Russian president has to pay a price for the attack;
- providing $500 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine (of which $250 million is for emergency funding and another $100 million is for air defense and anti-ship capabilities);
- creating a new Resistance Fund that seeks to help Ukraine resist Moscow's attempts to occupy new territories;
- authorizing new lend-lease authorities for Ukraine;
- expediting the procedure for congressional considering issues of providing Ukraine with weapons and assistance;
- doubling the amount of funding for U.S. military exercises in Europe;
- creating a new program of military assistance to the countries of Eastern Europe to help the allies strengthen their defense capabilities.
Context. U.S. President Joe Biden held a briefing yesterday on the security situation around Ukraine. During the speech, he once again warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of the inevitable harsh and never-before-seen sanctions in case of an invasion.