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[IWS] CRS: UKRAINE: CURRENT ISSUES AND U.S. POLICY [8 May 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

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Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

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Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Steven Woehrel, Specialist in European Affairs

May 8, 2014

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33460.pdf

[full-text, 20 pages]

 

Summary

After a failed effort to violently disperse pro-European Union protests, the government of

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed on February 21, 2014. The Ukrainian

parliament approved a new pro-reform, pro-Western government on February 27. New

presidential elections are scheduled for May 25. Russia has condemned the new government in

Kyiv as illegitimate and responded by sending troops to seize Ukraine’s Crimea region. Ignoring

international condemnation, Russian annexed Crimea on March 18. In April and May 2014,

armed men seized government buildings in several cities in eastern Ukraine, mainly in the

Donbas region. U.S. and Ukrainian officials charge that Russian intelligence officers in Ukraine

are coordinating the unrest. U.S. officials have expressed concern that Russia’s efforts to

destabilize eastern Ukraine may be the prelude to an invasion by an estimated 40,000 Russian

troops on Ukraine’s borders.

 

Ukraine’s new government faces serious economic problems. Ukraine has long-standing

problems in attracting foreign investment, in part due to rampant corruption and other

shortcomings in the rule of law. In the near term, the government’s dwindling foreign exchange

reserves raised the prospect of a default on sovereign debt later this year. The United States is

working with the EU, the IMF, and other international financial organizations to support a new

Ukrainian government committed to reforms. In May 2014, the Ukrainian government received

the first installment of a $17 billion IMF loan. The European Union has unveiled an 11.175

billion Euro (about $15.5 billion) aid package for Ukraine. The EU has also imposed sanctions on

48 persons from Ukraine and Russia held responsible for undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and

territorial integrity.

 

The Administration requested funding from Congress for $1 billion in loan guarantees for

Ukraine. Other U.S. aid will also help Ukraine stabilize its finances and hold free and fair

presidential and local elections on May 25, 2014. The Administration strongly condemned

Russian’s annexation of Crimea. In March the Administration announced asset freezes against 16

senior Russian officials, 4 wealthy figures from Putin’s “inner circle,” and one Russian bank. In

April, the Administration added seven senior Russian officials and 17 companies.

 

Congressional action has focused on providing assistance to the new Ukrainian government and

supporting sanctions against Russia for its occupation of Crimea. On March 27, the Senate

approved an amended version of H.R. 4152 by voice vote. The Senate-passed version of H.R.

4152 requires the U.S. government to assist Ukraine to recover assets stolen by the previous

regime through corruption; authorizes $50 million in U.S. aid in FY2015 to help Ukraine carry

out political and economic reforms; authorizes $100 million in security assistance for Ukraine

and other central and eastern European countries for FY2015-FY2017; and requires the President

to impose visa bans and asset seizures against persons in Ukraine and Russia who are responsible

for violence or undermining the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of

Ukraine. The bill also “encourages” the President to impose these sanctions on Russian figures

responsible for corruption in Russia and requires an annual report by the Secretary of Defense on

military and security developments involving the Russian Federation.

 

On April 1, the House passed the Senate-amended version of H.R. 4152 by a vote of 378-34. On

April 3, President Obama signed H.R. 4152 into law, as well as S. 2183, a related bill requiring

Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty and Voice of America to increase broadcasting in eastern

Ukraine, Crimea, and Moldova.

 

Contents

Background ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Current Political Situation ............................................................................................................... 3

Current Economic Situation............................................................................................................. 4

Ukraine’s Foreign Policy ................................................................................................................. 5

European Union ......................................................................................................................... 6

Russia ........................................................................................................................................ 7

Energy Issues ....................................................................................................................... 9

U.S. Policy ..................................................................................................................................... 10

Reaction to the Russian Annexation of and Efforts to Destabilize Ukraine ............................ 11

Congressional Response .......................................................................................................... 12

U.S. Aid to Ukraine ........................................................................................................... 12

Other Legislation ............................................................................................................... 14

Policy Issues ............................................................................................................................ 15

 

Figures

Figure 1. Ukraine ........................................................................................................................... 17

 

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 17

 

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This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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