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

12:40 Apr. 30, 2016

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

The dome of the U.S. Capitol building is illuminated at dawn in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 (Getty Images)

Legislation aims "to contain, reverse, and deter Russian aggression in Ukraine"

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.

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. 

"Driven by President Putin, Russia's aggression in Ukraine has undermined that country's sovereignty, and at the same time threatened our own long-term investment in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.  Russia's occupation of Crimea is illegal...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.

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