In Background, Russia

Congress sacrifices U.S. security with new sanctions against Russia

By Doug Bandow, Forbes Magazine, Dec 15, 2014

Congress long ago learned that public scrutiny makes it harder to pass bad bills. So on Thursday in the midst of negotiations to avoid another government shut-down both houses of Congress rammed through new sanctions against Russia, the misnamed “Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.”

Indeed, the House version, H.R. 5859, was introduced earlier the same day and approved by a sparse crowd late at night. The Senate legislation, S. 2828, passed on a voice vote. The measures sanction Russian weapons exports and oil production imports, and financial institutions which facilitate the such transactions; target Gazprom if it “is withholding significant” gas supplies from specified states; provide money to “strengthen democratic institutions and political and civil society organizations” in Russia; bar the lifting of sanctions so long as Moscow supports groups undermining “the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine”; boost financial transfers to Kiev; order U.S. officials to work with Ukraine to solve such problems as electricity and fuel shortages; authorize weapons transfers to Kiev; and increase funds for government Russian-language broadcasting services.

Read the full article here or at the weblink above.

See also:
Three members of Congress just reignited the Cold War while no one was looking, by Dennis Kucinich, Truthdig, Dec 16, 2014
Late Thursday night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term America’s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.

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