US Congress likely to pass Ukraine aid Tuesday

People walk past a trainload of Russian tanks after their arrival in Gvardeyskoe railway station near the Crimean capital Simferopol, on March 31, 2014A US aid package to Ukraine that also imposes sanctions on Russia for its Crimea takeover is expected to clear Congress Tuesday and head to President Barack Obama, ending a weeks-long impasse. The deal, which would also penalize individuals linked to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the deadly crackdown on protesters in Kiev opposed to Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin government, comes as Washington also pursues a diplomatic track to lower the temperature of Europe’s most serious East-West geopolitical showdown since the Cold War. US Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris, and Russian troops were said to be undertaking a partial withdrawal from positions along its border with Ukraine.

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