WASHINGTON – Appearing on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” U.S. Senator Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today said U.S. leadership has “stiffen[ed] the European resolve” regarding sanctions in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. Yesterday, Corker supported committee passage of bipartisan legislation that provides U.S. assistance for Ukraine and imposes sanctions against threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“[I]n Europe…they are coalescing around some really strong sanctions. I think our leadership here in pushing that and certainly what the administration has done unilaterally; I think those things have come together to really stiffen the European resolve and their ability to put in place sanctions,” said Corker.
The Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, which does not add to the debt and relies on appropriated funds within existing restraints on federal spending, includes the following provisions:
Loan guarantees: Authorizes the State Department to provide funds for the purpose of loan guarantees for Ukraine.
Asset recovery from corrupt Ukrainian officials: Requires the State Department and Justice Department to assist the Ukrainian government in the recovery of assets amassed by corruption Ukrainian officials, including former President Viktor Yanukovych.
Democracy and governance assistance: Authorizes $50 million for the purpose of technical, democracy, and civil society assistance for Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership countries.
Enhanced security cooperation with Ukraine and Europe: Directs the president and authorizes up to $100 million over FY 2015-2017 to provide security assistance for Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Sanctions for threats to Ukraine: Imposes sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, against persons determined to have engaged in violence or serious human rights abuses in Ukraine or activities undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
IMF reform: Authorizes quota reforms in the IMF that help maintain American influence in the Fund and its veto power. U.S. financial commitments at the IMF would not increase, because while the U.S. contribution to the IMF’s main source of funding (or quota) will increase from an estimated $63 billion to $126 billion, the U.S. will reduce a corresponding $63 billion from U.S. contributions to a separate IMF account (the “New Arrangements to Borrow”) that was approved by Congress in 2009 to provide additional stability in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The budgetary impact of this provision is fully offset with current year spending.