U.S. bill links Russia sanctions relief to Crimea`s return to Ukraine – RFE/RL

A new bill in the U.S. Congress would prevent the White House from lifting a raft of sanctions against Russia until Ukraine restores control over Crimea, which Moscow forcibly annexed in 2014, or settles the peninsula`s status to Kyiv`s satisfaction, Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
The legislation, announced on April 29 by U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel (Democrat-New York) and Adam Kinzinger (Republican-Illinois), aims to bolster U.S. support for Kyiv with measures that include tightened sanctions against Russia and a push for greater private investment in the Ukrainian economy, according to RFE/RL.
”We need to build on our sanctions regime against troublemakers in the Kremlin, while working to preserve transatlantic unity,” Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.
”And we need to find ways of shoring up Ukraine and deterring [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that go beyond just throwing more money at the problem,” Engel added.
The bill would require that the U.S. president, prior to lifting a raft of Ukraine-related sanctions, submit ”certification” to Congress that Ukraine has restored ”sovereignty” over Crimea or that the peninsula`s status has been resolved to the satisfaction ”of a democratically elected government” in Kyiv, the statement reads.
”As we have seen time and again, there is no stopping Vladimir Putin`s disrespect for global order, especially in regards to Ukraine,” Kinzinger said.
”It`s time for the United States to stand up and reiterate that it will not tolerate Russia`s aggression,” he said.
Called the Stability And Democracy For Ukraine Act, the legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 28 by Engel, Kinzinger, and 14 other co-sponsors, RFE/RL writes.

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