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U.S. Senate close to deal on legislation to sanction Russia, senators say

Security talks at the United States Mission in Geneva
FILE PHOTO: Russian and U.S. flags are pictured before talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at the United States Mission in Geneva, Switzerland January 10, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

U.S. senators are very close to reaching a deal on legislation to sanction Russia over its actions on Ukraine, including some measures that may be put in place ahead of any invasion, the two leading senators working on the bill said on Sunday.

Senators Bob Menendez and James Risch, the chairman and top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they were going to move forward on the bill this week.

“I would describe it as that we are on the one-yard line,” Menendez said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” using an American football reference meaning very close to the goal.

“What there is no doubt is that there is an incredible bipartisan resolve for support of Ukraine, an incredibly strong bipartisan resolve to have severe consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine, and, in some cases, for what it has already done,” Menendez said.

Some of those include massive sanctions against the most significant Russian banks and on Russian sovereign debt, as well as more lethal assistance to Ukraine.

Asked whether the sanctions would only go into effect after any invasion or be pre-emptive, Risch said, “I think it’s a combination of both.”

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