The U.S. Congress passed in two readings a Russian aggression prevention bill that provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The bill was submitted to the competent commission for being prepared for the final reading, IPN reports, quoting the official website of the U.S. Congress.
The bill directs President Barack Obama to increase U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; and U.S and NATO security assistance to such states.
The bill also amends the Natural Gas Act to apply the expedited application and approval process for natural gas exports to World Trade Organization members, and urges the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction to promote assistance to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in order to exploit natural gas and oil reserves and to develop alternative energy sources.
The document prohibits any federal department or agency from taking any action that recognizes Russian Federation sovereignty over Crimea or otherwise endorses the Russian Federation's illegal annexation of Crimea, and directs the Secretary of State to strengthen democratic institutions, the independent media, and political and civil society organizations in countries of the former Soviet Union; and increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union.