Reflecting ongoing tension in Ukraine, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today moved to back up the Obama Administration’s push for tough sanctions and other “costs” to Russia for its actions in Crimea. The Senate bill tracks aspects of House-passed sanctions, but will lead to a conference due to additional measures such as statutory change empowering the U.S. to support longstanding governance changes at the IMF. This report assesses key provisions in a bill drafted by Chairman Menendez (D-NJ) for which details were provided only shortly in advance of Committee action. The measure was approved on a 14-3 vote, with Senators on both sides of the aisle using the mark-up to pass supporting amendments. Amendments adopted that affect financial institutions include authorization to impose sanction on Russian officials. Several Republican Senators took issue with the IMF reforms as anticipated, but were unsuccessful in striking these provisions. FedFin has released a paper addressing the risk-management and regulatory issues raised by these sanctions, which may be found at: http://www.fedfin.com/images/stories/client_reports/Geopolitical%20Risk%20Analytics_FedFin_3%2011.pdf.
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