Monday, May 2 2016 20:03 EEST
Members of the US Congress suggests toughening anti-Russian sanctions
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The US House of Representatives had registered a new bill, which defines the US position on Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, strengthens anti-Russian sanctions and suggests innovative methods to help Ukraine, Voice of America reported.

On Friday, American lawmakers Elliot Engel (a Congressional Democrat from New York) and Adam Kinzinger (a Republican from Illinois) said they had suggested the bill, which dealt with the current crisis in Ukraine. They were joined by a group of 14 lawmakers, including two-party leadership of Ukrainian "caucus" in the House of Representatives that proposed Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act (STAND).

The bill’s authors write that Russian aggression against Ukraine has damaged Ukrainian sovereignty. Furthermore, it threatens American long-term investment in integrated, free and peaceful Europe.

Russia’s occupation of Crimea is illegal. American policy should be clear on this issue like it was in the case of long-term occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union with preservation of transatlantic unity. STAND is a new approach to all the issues which makes it clear that "the United States won’t be idly while Putin is bullying his neighbors, testing NATO’s determination and trying to damage the unity of the Western countries," Engel said.

Adam Kinzinger stated that "it is time for the United States to confirm that they aren’t going to submit Russian aggression" and that "we will never recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea."

STAND strengthens anti-Russian sanctions and rejects any form of recognition of Russian ruling over Crimea. It clearly defines the right of Ukraine to defend itself and links any easing of sanctions to timely and full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

In particular, the bill introduces restrictions on the transfer of certain items and military services of NATO countries to Russia, including US technology or components up to the end of Ukrainian territory’s occupation.

It expands the Magnitsky Act to the territories occupied or controlled by Russia, such as Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria.

It urges American administration to work with Ukrainian government to seek ways of establishing an international consortium in order to attract private investments in Ukraine by reducing political risks for future private investors.

It requests the Department of State to develop and implement the strategy of response to Russian efforts to misinformation and propaganda against the Russian-speaking population in the countries bordering Russia.

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