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U.S. Lawmakers Introduce New Russian Sanctions Legislation

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Senator Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee, right) speaks during a hearing alongside committee Chairman Senator Robert Menendez (Democrat-New Jerseyin Washington on July 9.

The chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has introduced a new bill that would stiffen sanctions against Russia and provide more military assistance to Ukraine.

In a sign of bipartisan unity, Senators Robert Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey) and Bob Corker (Republican-Tennessee) said that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would vote on the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 on September 18.

The legislation requires U.S. President Barack Obama to impose sanctions against Russian arms import-export company Rosoboroneksport and other defense and energy firms.

It also requires sanctions against Gazprom if the president determines it is withholding gas from Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, or other NATO allies.

It also authorizes $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine and $50 million to address a potential fuel shortage in 2014-15.

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