The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted 14-3 to push forward a bill seeking to impose what officials say are the “most significant” US sanctions against Russia since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The sanctions are mostly non-specific, authorizing President Obama to unilateral impose whatever financial sanctions he sees fit on Russian officials that he determines are “to blame” for Crimean secession from the Ukraine.
Some hawks on the committee had pushed for sanctions targeting Russian banks and oil companies as well, but these were not included in the final bill, which will go on to the Senate floor.
In addition to the sanctions, the bill includes $1 billion in “loan guarantees” for the interim Ukrainian government, a move which concerned some senators who say they aren’t clear where that money is going to come from.
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