"The comprehensive legislation seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait", the statement said.
The bill would have to pass the US Congress and be signed by US President Donald Trump before becoming law, Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier in an email to Reuters that the goal of the new restrictions "is to change the status quo and impose meaningful sanctions and measures" against Russia.
According to the Graham's Wednesday statement, "the sanctions and other measures contained in this bill are the most hard-hitting ever imposed".
On 25 November, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. Russia seized the Ukrainian vessels and detained 24 people on board after they failed to respond to a demand to stop. After the incident, a criminal case on illegal border crossing was opened in Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly slammed Kiev's attempts to portray the detained sailors as prisoners of war, stressing that they faced criminal charges. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to declare martial law, which was announced after the incident and lasted for a month. Putin said the provocation could be linked to Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko's low approval ratings ahead of the presidential election, set to be held in March.
Meanwhile, The Financial Times has reported that the new sanctions against Russia were being also planned in the EU. In particular, the new restrictive measures are expected to be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers next Monday and could be imposed within the next two months, the report said, citing unidentified diplomats who had been briefed on the discussions.
Washington and Brussels imposed the first sanctions against Russia in 2014 following the eruption of political crisis in Ukraine, justifying the move as dissatisfaction with Moscow's actions in Ukraine.