Durbin-Sponsored Ukraine Freedom Act of 2014 Heading To President's Desk

Measure Includes Sanctions on Russia, Assistance for Ukraine

[CHICAGO] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have passed the Ukraine Freedom Act of 2014, legislation he co-sponsored that imposes additional sanctions against the Russian defense, energy and financial sectors and also authorizes military and non-military assistance to Ukraine. The measure now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

“Congress has come together to send a strong rebuke to Russian leaders for their interference in Ukraine,” Durbin said.  “These sanctions build on President Obama’s actions and the assistance to Ukraine included in the measure demonstrates the friendship between Ukraine and the United States.”

The Ukraine Freedom Act of 2014 supplements existing U.S. and European Union sanctions, with a focus on defense firms, energy providers and financial institutions. The bill also provides an additional $350 million in military assistance for Ukraine while designating Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova major non-NATO allies. The U.S Department of State, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Agency for International Development would be required to work with the Ukrainian government to develop plans on how to address an anticipated energy and gas shortage this winter.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Durbin voted in favor of the bill when it unanimously passed the committee earlier this year. More information on the Ukraine Freedom Act of 2014 can be found here on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee website.

In March, Durbin helped lead a congressional delegation to Kiev for meetings with the interim Ukrainian government, Ukrainian political party leaders, democracy activists, civil society groups and U.S. embassy officials. Durbin previously traveled to Ukraine in 2012.