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RELEASE: How the United States Should Proceed with Sanctions on Russia and Support for Ukraine

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Contact: Anne Shoup
Phone: 202.481.7146

Washington, D.C. — Today, as congressional deliberations and meetings between President Barack Obama and his counterparts in Europe lay the groundwork for a U.S. response that simultaneously imposes sanctions on Russia and provides support to Ukraine, the Center for American Progress released a set of recommendations that should be included in each track of this strategy.

“Putin’s use of intimidation and brute force may give him the limelight for now, but resolute support to build a free and democratic Ukraine can hand him a strategic defeat over time,” said Vikram Singh, Vice President of the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. “The challenge to the United States and other nations is to provide the substantial resources and lasting support Ukraine needs to manage a complicated transition and reform process.”

Five elements of sanctions on Russia:

  • Steadily expand sanctions to include the leadership of Russian state-owned enterprises, arms companies, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Armed Forces, and additional leaders of the United Russia Party and the Kremlin.
  • Encourage American companies to divest from Russian assets and businesses, including through financial regulatory tools.
  • Cancel sales of arms and dual-use technologies to Russia.
  • Limit Russia’s global influence. The Group of 8 leading industrialized nations has informally reverted back to a Group of 7, or G-7, excluding Russia from its discussions. This informal rejection should continue. The United States and Europe should also oppose Russian membership in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, or OECD, and the International Energy Agency, or the IEA.
  • Heavily scrutinize Russia’s compliance with anti-money-laundering laws.

“Our response to Ukraine can’t simply be about punishing Russia for its actions,” said Ken Sofer, Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. “We need to also help support a functioning Ukrainian government and economy. The most important step we can take to get the Ukrainian economy back on track will likely be passing the stalled IMF reforms, which will open up access to billions more in financial support for Ukraine.”

Five elements of support for Ukraine:

  • Expedite the $1 billion loan guarantee pledged by the United States and the $15 billion in aid pledged by the European Union.
  • Create a “Friends of Ukraine” group and authorize direct economic and security assistance through a supplemental appropriation if necessary.
  • Restructure Ukrainian debt at the International Monetary Fund, IMF meeting in April.
  • Pass the stalled IMF reform package into law with sanctions and aid legislation.
  • Support the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, mission to Ukraine.

Read the analysis: Key Elements of Sanctions and Support to Address Russian Aggression in Ukraine by Vikram Singh and Ken Sofer

To speak to an expert, contact Anne Shoup at or at 202.481.7146.


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