The Press Office of the President of the United States of America has announced that Barack Obama has signed a law which will impose further sanctions on Russian state companies and provide military aid to Ukraine.
The president signed the law on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. The signing off of the law has become a reason for great joy in Ukraine and is widely understood to be a significant diplomatic success.
It was not certain whether the president would sign off the act: after the vote at the Senate, Obama could have sent it, along with his remarks, to be modified, he could have vetoed it, or he could have done nothing, in which case, the law would have been enacted anyway.
The law sets out a new set of sanctions, but clearly states that their implementation depends on the actions of the Russian Federation.
The sanctions include a trade ban on every enterprise which sells or sends fatal weapons to the territories of Ukraine, Moldova or Georgia if the governments of these states haven’t stated their prior agreement. Additionally, the law permits the granting to Ukraine of military aid in the sum of 350m USD, 100m in 2015, and the rest during the two following years.
In addition, a contingency is included in the adopted act requiring the president to sanction Gazprom should it ever interfere with the delivery of gas supplies to NATO members or to Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova.
It still depends on Barack Obama, however, to what extent he will impose the sanctions in practice. The clauses in the law are conditional and grant the president the possibility to implement them, but do not oblige him to do so.
As to the provisions regarding financial support for military aid, the bill directly mandates the President of the United States to implement them. Within 60 days from the signing of the bill, a detailed executive decree should be announced.
The Ukrainian nation is very grateful to the United States of America for its concrete support.
The HR 5859 act can be viewed by clicking on the link.