The Senate is about to finalize measures to target the Russian economy in the event of Ukraine invasion

WASHINGTON — Bipartisan law aimed at attacking the Russian economy if the President

Vladimir Putin

Key senators say the Ukraine invasion is nearing completion in the US Senate.

The bill, being negotiated between members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and others, would target major Russian banks, hit Russians’ savings and pensions and limit the market for Russians. Russia’s sovereign debt, among other factors, said Senator Bob Menendez (D., NJ) Sunday.

The law seems reflect the measures under consideration by the administration of President Biden, which administration officials say will target some of Russia’s largest government-owned banks, ban dealing in new issues of Russian sovereign debt, and apply export control measures across key sectors.

Menendez and Republican Sen. Jim Risch (R., Idaho) said Sunday on CNN that they are about to have a final bill.

“I would describe it as if we were one yard off the road,” Mr. Menendez said. “And, hopefully, we’ll be able to finish it off successfully.”

US Senator Lindsey Graham (R., SC) predicts there will be bipartisan support for deeper and more severe sanctions on Russia.



The chairman, who previously drafted legislation that includes what he calls “the mother of all sanctions,” described “an astounding bipartisan determination in favor of Ukraine and a determination by polar bipartisanship.” powerful period to cause serious consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine, and in some cases, for what it has done. “

Victoria Nuland, secretary of state for political affairs, said on CBS that the Biden administration is working closely with lawmakers on legislation, which she predicts will align with efforts by other countries in the region. Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty.

“For this package of sanctions, you know, deterrence is best when there’s a bit of strategic ambiguity around exactly what we’re going to do,” Nuland said. “If we put them on the scale right now, then Russia will be able to start a slight reduction.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R., SC) predicts bipartisan support for deeper and tougher sanctions on Russia, as well as additional defensive weapons for Ukraine. Summarizing his hobby Sunday on CBS, he said: “Much more. More against Russia, more for Ukraine. ”

Mr. Risch said he did not believe Mr. Putin had decided whether to go ahead with the invasion of Ukraine, but if he “feels weak, if he feels embarrassed, if he feels reckless, if he feels hesitant… then he does. will take advantage of that.”

The Pentagon has warned that Russia has accumulated enough combat power occupied significant cities and territories in Ukraine, and the Biden administration said it was preparing for an invasion. But Ukraine’s leaders have warned The US has exaggerated the threat from Russia.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, rejected the notion of a disconnect between Kyiv and Washington about the severity of the threat. While acknowledging differences of opinion on the specifics and timing of the sanctions, she said “those were friendly, open and frank discussions.”

“We are not downplaying the risks, emphasizing that Ukraine and its allies share the same assessment of the situation,” she said. “At the same time, to protect our country, we cannot let panic.”

Ukraine wants sanctions on Russia now, not just in case of another invasion, she said, noting that Russia has occupied Crimea since 2014. “We believe the basis for these sanctions are there.”

According to Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Ukraine wants sanctions against Russia now, not just in case of another invasion, according to Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US


Olena Khudiakova / Zuma Press

Sens. Menendez and Risch acknowledged disagreements over the handling of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, then suggested that the issue would likely be the final sticking point in bipartisan negotiations.

The Biden administration has described the pipeline, complete but not yet certified to carry gas, as leverage for the West against Putin, and officials have said if Russia invades Ukraine, the pipeline will be destroyed. stop. Senate earlier this month rejected a measure from Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) that would have mandated immediate sanctions on the project.

The White House opposed Cruz’s bill and endorsed an alternative from Menendez that would have directed the Biden administration to reconsider. waive sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in case Russia escalates.

Speaking to Putin, Mr. Graham said on Sunday: “If you invade Ukraine, you will destroy the ability of future presidents to treat you and Russia normally. You will long for the good old days of the Cold War because every future president will hit you and every future Congress will hit you. “

As for why Americans should care about Ukraine’s welfare, Mr. Risch said, “We’ve always supported countries that are democracies.”

Menendez said while the immediate danger to Ukraine is real and an urgent priority, the issues at stake extend beyond any single country.

“We cannot have that moment in Munich again, when it comes to what some see as the appeasement of the European powers to Hitler before World War II,” Menendez said. “Putin will not stop with Ukraine if he believes that the West will not respond. We saw what he did in 2008 in Georgia. We saw what he did in 2014 when he was chasing Crimea… And so at the end of the day, this is about defending Ukraine, but it’s also about sending a message: You can’t by force force to change the boundaries of a country. ”

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