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US Senate panel backs Ukraine aid, hurdles remain

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 6, 2014A US Senate panel approved a closely-watched aid package for Ukraine, but a battle over IMF reforms crucial to expanding loans to the country might torpedo the legislation. It easily passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a majority of 14 members to three. It also commits $50 million for democracy-building efforts and $100 million to enhance US security cooperation with Ukraine. But the bill faces a tough journey in the full Senate, where it could be slowed by Republicans concerned with how to pay for an expansion of the International Monetary Fund’s lending framework.

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