Radio Liberty: U.S Senate will not grant major non-NATO ally status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, December 17
Radio Liberty reads that the US Senate has removed provisions granting major non-NATO ally status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress in July 2014, provided major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each country meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The congress said the act was adopted in order to prevent further Russian aggression towards Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia. However, the Senate removed the subsequent provision from the bill.
The bill authorizes military aid for Ukraine and imposing new sanctions on Russia. The subsequent bill was passed by the Senate unanimously on December 13.
The Russian government says the new sanctions from the U.S are hostile. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Obama has to make a choice whether this “hostility” becomes law or not.
The radio states that the bill also authorizes the president to sanction Gazprom, a state-controlled Russian energy giant, if he determines that it is withholding gas from a NATO state or Ukraine, Moldova, or Georgia.
“The White House tries to hold a balance when deciding on Russian-related issues. According to one of the White House senior officials, it is important that the U.S sanctions regime strikes a delicate balance that maintains a united front with its allies and partners, optimizes costs on Russia, and minimizes the impact on American business, international oil markets and the global economy. We will be evaluating whether the amended legislation enables us to sustain this important approach,” Radio Liberty states.
The bill has already been sent to President Barak Obama for signature or veto.
“It is hard to predict whether President Obama will approve the bill or if he waives a number of provisions. Due to national security reasons the president may not approve the provision of the bill which authorizes sanctions on Russia's defense and energy industries,” they stress.