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[WATCH] Senators Say Deal On Russian Sanctions Bill Could Pass This Week

[WATCH] Senators Say Deal On Russian Sanctions Bill Could Pass This Week

Russia has been building up its forces on Ukraine’s borders for months and has demanded NATO pull troops and weapons from eastern Europe and bar the former Soviet state from ever joining the U.S.-led military alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky supports immediate action and has criticized the West for waiting to impose more damaging sanctions.

Now the U.S. is very close to reaching a deal on legislation to sanction Russia over its actions on Ukraine, including some measures that may take effect before any invasion, two leading senators said on Sunday. The Senate bill would target the most significant Russian banks and Russian sovereign debt, as well as provide more U.S. military assistance to Ukraine.

Senators Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and James Risch, its top Republican, hoped to move forward on the bill this week.

Some of the sanctions in the bill could take effect before any invasion because of what Russia has already done, Menendez said, including cyberattacks on Ukraine, false flag operations, and efforts to undermine the Ukrainian government internally. There is strong bipartisan resolve to support Ukraine and to punish Russia if it invades Ukraine, Menendez said. Asked if an agreement will be reached this week, he said, “I believe that we will get there.”


There are still areas of disagreement between senators from the two parties, especially over whether to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. More crushing sanctions would follow if Russia invades, Menendez said, “but the lethal aid would travel no matter what.”

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Watch the full CNN segment, below.


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