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U.S Senate to discuss granting Georgia non-NATO status

By Ana Robakidze
Friday, September 19
U.S. senators Robert Mendez and Bob Corker drafted and presented to the Senate a bill on supporting the Independence of Ukraine. The draft offers granting Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova the status of U.S major non-NATO allies. The senators also offered to donate 10 million USD to these countries so they could stand against Russian propaganda. According to the draft, funds should be transferred to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova within the next three fiscal years.

The Georgian government confirms it has an interest in expanding the country’s military and self-defense capabilities. State Minister of Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alexi Petriashvili says there is nothing wrong with seeking stronger military partners.

“Strengthening Georgian self-defense does not mean the country is going to launch aggressive politics. Considering the threats in the region and the fact that 20% of the territory is occupied, Georgia is trying to strengthen its security,” Petriashvili said.

The resolution imposes broad sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy, and financial sectors, as well as increases military and non-military assistance for Ukraine.

The legislation was planned to be taken up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 18th, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s address at a joint meeting of Congress.

Menendez and Corker sent their request to Speaker John Boehner, asking to invite Poroshenko to speak before Congress.

“President Putin has upended the international order and a slap on the wrist will not deter future Russian provocations…“In the face of Russian aggression, Ukraine needs our steadfast and determined support, not an ambiguous response. We are left with no choice but to apply tough sanctions against Russia, coupled with military assistance to Ukraine,” Mendez wrote in his request.

According to Corker the draft has to be approved, as the bill would both demonstrate U.S solidarity with the Ukrainian people and its commitment that Russia will pay an increasingly heavy price for its invasion of Ukraine.

If the bill is approved it will require the U.S president to apply sanctions against:
• Rosoboron export and other Russian defense firms that contribute to instability in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Syria;
• Companies worldwide that make significant investments in particular unconventional Russian crude oil energy projects;
• Gazprom, if the President determines that Gazprom is withholding significant natural gas supplies from member countries of NATO or further withholds such supplies from countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, or Moldova.