US Congress passes Ukraine aid, Russian sanctions bill

Russians prepare to unload a trainload of KAMAZ military trucks after their arrival at Ostryakovo railway station, some 20 km outside near the Crimean capital Simferopol, on April 1, 2014Congress easily passed a US aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday that includes sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea, in US lawmakers’ first binding response to the crisis. The House of Representatives voted 378 to 34 to approve the bill, which the Senate green-lighted last week, meaning the bill, including $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine, now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. “The US House and Senate stand together in backing the Ukrainian people during this hour of need,” House Speaker John Boehner said immediately after the vote, promising to monitor Obama’s actions.

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