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US Democratic Senators to Unveil New 'Severe' Russia Sanctions Bill on Wednesday, Report Says

© ANNA MONEYMAKERSenator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.01.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Democratic senators will present a new Russia sanctions bill later on Wednesday that would bring "severe costs" to the Russian economy in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, in an effort backed by the White House, The Washington Post reported.
The effort is led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez.
The measure comes as the Biden administration tries to suppress defections on a competing effort targeting Russia, which will be put to vote in the Senate this week, the report noted.
The legislation would entail sweeping sanctions on top Russian military brass and government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, as well as key banking institutions.
It would also hit companies in Russia that offer secure messaging systems such as SWIFT. Pledging more security assistance to Ukraine, the bill calls on the United States to "consider all available and appropriate measures" to ensure Nord Stream 2 is not put into operation.
In this April 9, 2010 file photo, a Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone in Portovaya Bay some 170 km (106 miles) northwest of St. Petersburg, Russia, during a ceremony marking the start of construction for the Nord Stream pipeline.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.01.2022
Nuland Reportedly Tried to Persuade Democratic Senators to Reject Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2
The White House supports the bill, a spokesperson for the National Security Council told The Washington Post, noting that other measures, such as the one being pushed by Senator Ted Cruz, will "not counter further Russian aggression or protect Ukraine."
"Instead, it will undermine our efforts to deter Russia and remove leverage the United States and our allies and partners possess at this moment all to score political points at home," the spokesperson said on the condition of anonymity. "And it would come at a moment where we need to be closely united with our European partners, including Germany. It makes no sense."
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