Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014: next steps that could turn it into the law

On 11 December the US Senate and the House of Representatives by the majority votes passed two identical resolutions (S.2828 and H.R.5859) with the general name “Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014”. Due to procedural nuances the document needs to be re-voted in the Senate. Next step is having it sent to the US President for his signature afterwards the law comes in force, explains Maidan for Foreign Affairs. Below are the main aspects the document covers.
Unfortunately the draft law saw withdrawn the provision as to the granting of the “most important non-NATO ally” status to Ukraine. However the draft law sets same grounds for US policy towards Ukraine.

“It is the policy of the United States to further assist the Government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity to deter the Government of the Russian Federation from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. That policy shall be carried into effect, among other things, through a comprehensive effort, in coordination with allies and partners of the United States where appropriate, that includes economic sanctions, diplomacy, assistance for the people of Ukraine, and the provision of military capabilities to the Government of Ukraine that will enhance the ability of that Government to defend itself and to restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unlawful actions by the Government of the Russian Federation.”

The draft law foresees reinforcement of sanctions against Russia, in particular against Rosoboronexport and Gazprom companies, as well as sets forth sanctions relating to the arms and dual-use item exports, oil extraction, banking transactions etc.
The US military assistance to Ukraine will amount to USD 350 mln in 2015-2017 and will foresee the provision of defense articles and services, training for the purpose of countering offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment

The US will assist entities in the defense sector of Ukraine to reorient exports of defense and dual-use articles away from customers in the Russian Federation and to find appropriate alternative markets.

USD 50 mln in 2016-2018 will be directed for projects on energy security of both short-term and strategic nature. The energy safety of the people of Ukraine during 2014 and 2015) enabling Ukraine to secure the energy safety of the people of Ukraine during 2014 and 2015, including through procurement and transport of emergency fuel supplies, including reverse pipeline flows from Europe; repair of infrastructure, conversion of natural gas heating facilities to run on other fuels.

To support democracy and civil society development in Ukraine and Russia it is planned to spend USD 20 mln in 2016 in addition to the USD 10 mln cumulative budget for “The Voice of America” and “Radio Liberty”. The quantity of Russian-language broadcasting into the countries of the former Soviet Union is to be increased in order to counter Russian Federation propaganda.

For reference: As the procedure foresees that the draft laws affecting budget issues need first be voted in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate in case of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 repeated voting is required in the Senate. As the Senate passed the draft law in question earlier than the House of Representatives did. The US political will to have this draft law voted does not leave doubts. After the “technical” re-voting the draft law will be passed to the US President for signature. The President can also veto the draft law however the number of votes the document received in the Congress gives grounds to consider possible override for the president’s veto.

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