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Please begin with an informative title:

Senate Bill 2124, referred from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will create a massive austerity package for Ukraine similar to the one that the IMF gave to Greece and Spain. The package will bail Ukraine out of its immediate financial woes, but will force them to create draconian austerity measures that will tempt ethnic Russians to revolt even more and demand Russia annex the eastern half of Ukraine. And the package will turn many people who supported the Euromaidan revolution against the new government and possibly drive many out to work in the EU or in Russia. The potential for conflict and chaos there is so great even if Russia does not make another military move there that Putin's declaration that Ukraine is not even a country may yet turn out to be true.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

One of the main provisions of Senate Bill 2124 enables the US to assist Ukraine in recovering funds the Senate says Yanukovich looted from the Ukrainian treasury as he fled the country. The fact that was able to happen shows that Ukraine's institutional safeguards against that sort of thing happening were so weak that Putin's remark that Ukraine was not a country back in 2008 was simply a statement of reality. Being a lifelong KGB man, Putin was in a position to know. So as President of Russia and a devout nationalist, Putin sees his role as protecting the ethnic Russians from this impending collapse and integrate them into the Russian system as best he can.

Stated policy goals in the bill include condemning Russia's military intervention, reaffirming the commitment to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum that Russia was a signatory to respecting Ukraine's sovereignty, working with the EU and NATO and at the UN to ensure that all nations continue to recognize the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, create an Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, secure IMF loans to Ukraine, help Ukraine prepare for the May elections, assist Ukraine in recovering funds looted by Yanukovich and his allies, train the Ukrainian military, condemning extortion by Russia against neighboring countries, enhancing security cooperation with NATO and other allies, reaffirm defense commitments to allies under NATO, conditions continued participation of Russia in the G8 on respecting the sovereignty of other nations, and assist Central and Eastern Europe in diversifying energy sources.

The real interesting part is this section:

to work with United States partners in the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and at the United Nations to ensure that all nations recognize and not undermine, nor seek to undermine, the independence, sovereignty, or territorial or economic integrity of Ukraine;
to use all appropriate economic elements of United States national power, in coordination with United States allies, to protect the independence, sovereignty, and territorial and economic integrity of Ukraine;
These references to the independence of Ukraine, along with the fact that President Obama took the option of military force to protect Ukraine off the table, means that Washington believes that Ukraine is in serious danger of becoming a failed state, which means that Russia could take it over at some point down the road barely firing a shot. There has been a consistent pattern to Putin's behavior -- he never enters a battle with his forces unless he knows he can win. Putin constantly talks about the geopolitical game; he is a nationalist, but he is not a raving madman infested with notions of racial supremacy like Hitler was. His MO is to win the battle beforehand, then send in the troops. He did that with Chechnya and he did that with Georgia.

The bill appropriates $50 million to the Secretary of State to improve democratic institutions, support unity efforts by the new government, support free and fair elections in May, help Ukraine diversify its economy, expand access to media, support political and economic reforms in Eastern Partnership countries, and support the empowerment of women.

The bill also appropriates $100 million to the President to enhance security cooperation among Eastern Partnership countries, the US, and the EU and provide additional defense services and training to Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

The bill ratifies the President's sanctions against Ukrainian and Russian officials that he deems to be responsible for the present conflict and authorizes him to impose further sanctions. The bill also authorizes sanctions by the President against people he deems guilty of significant corruption.

The bill authorizes the dollar equivalent of 40+ billion Special Drawing Rights, or around $60 billion to the IMF to loan. The IMF can redeem these Special Drawing Rights to member countries for currency to loan to countries. However, there is no guarantee in this provision that the IMF will actually loan $60 billion to Ukraine; they could loan it to other countries as they saw fit if, say, the negotiations between Ukraine and the IMF were to fall through.

The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to submit annual reports on the strength of Russia's military in both classified and non-classified form. Matters to be included are the security situations in Russia's neighbors; Russian military doctrine, goals, and trends; global and regional security objectives of Russia; assessment of Russia's nuclear capabilities; proliferation activities of the Russian government; developments in Russia's asymmetric capabilities such as cyberwarfare and espionage; space programs; security capabilities; engagement and cooperation on security matters, and any other developments that the Department of Defense sees as relevant for national security.

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