MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – The "Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014" that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is voting on Thursday is a "witch's brew" of actions against Russia, which includes provisions relating to other countries, including Syria, Daniel Zubov from Rossiya Segodnia's Center for International Journalism and Research said Thursday.
"The new initiative threatens the ceasefire in Ukraine and the peace talks being negotiated by the more sensible parties in Russia and Europe," Zubov said.
"The legislation is a "witch's brew" of actions against Russia and includes provisions relating to the broader CIS states and even Syria. Senator [Robert] Menendez, the Democratic chair of the [Senate Foreign Relations] Committee, has joined to build on previous aggressive legislation introduced in May by the Republicans," Zubov noted.
The new US legislation authorizes the allocation of $350 million for military assistance to the government of Ukraine. Ukraine, along with Moldova and Georgia, will also be awarded "major non-NATO ally" (MNNA) status under the new bill, which will allow for the expedited transfer of American weapons, according to the official website of the US Senate.
"US Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, who initiated the act, have specifically timed it to be introduced in the Foreign Relations Committee "hours after" Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's address," Zubov says, noting that the move was aimed at easing the passage of the legislation through Congress.
Poroshenko is expected to deliver a speech before the US Congress in Washington D.C. on Thursday, asking the US government for more economic and military aid for Ukraine.
According to Zubov, the new Senate legislation restates American policy in Ukraine, according to which, the United States needs to further assist the Kiev government in "restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The bill does not only stipulate increasing military assistance to Ukraine, but also imposes sanctions against Russia's defense, energy, and financial sectors, specifically targeting Russian offshore drilling locations in the Arctic.
Major new sanctions will fall on Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport. The measures stipulate cutting Rosoboronexport from assistance from the Export-Import Bank, prohibitions on exporting arms, dual-use goods, and property transactions.
"The Rosoboronexport sanctions also extend to any Russian entity manufacturing, selling, transferring, or brokering the sale of weapons to Syria or any other nation without the consent of the government - and the legislation specifically cites Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Poland, the Baltic States and Central Asian nations," Zubov notes.
"Rational discourse and analysis in the United States are being drowned out by a carefully constructed propaganda campaign designed to silence voices opposed to war and support the continued eastward expansion of American military and NATO forces," Zubov stresses.
Moscow has stressed that using sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy is ineffective and could cause certain damage to those using the measure.