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US senators present strongest ever bill against Russia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 18
Senators Bob Menendez, Lindsey Graham, Cory Gardner, Ben Cardin, and Jeanne Shaheen have introduced a bill in Senate with tougher sanctions ever against Russia for its illegal activities in Ukraine, Georgia and for its support of the Bashar-al-Assad regime in Syria.

The bill demands the increase of economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Russia and establishes a comprehensive policy response to better position the US government to address the Russian aggression by creating new policy offices on cyber defenses and sanctions coordination.

The bill includes the following elements:

Sanctions on Russian banks that support Russian efforts to undermine democratic institutions in other countries.

Sanctions on investment in Russian LNG projects outside of Russia.

Sanctions on Russia’s cyber sector.

Sanctions on Russian sovereign debt.

Sanctions on political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin.

“Putin’s actions cannot be tolerated, and the consequences of inaction are quickly compounding – further humanitarian disaster in Syria, regional instability, kidnapping of Ukrainian sailors and seizure of ships, and the steady erosion of international norms.

“One thing is increasingly clear: Moscow will continue to push until it meets genuine resistance. That is why we are introducing a proposal to actually address the realities of the Kremlin threat in a holistic way, all while sending a crystal clear message to our adversaries that the U.S Congress will protect our institutions, allies and values even if the president chooses not to do so,” Senators Bob Menendez said.

Senator Gardner stated that Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.

The bill presented last week needs to be approved by the US Senate, the House of Representatives and then signed by President Donald Trump for it to come into play.