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Congress expected to pass Ukraine aid package, tough sanctions on Russia

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Congress is expected to pass a bill that will provide economic aid to Ukraine and clamp on tough sanctions to Russia.

According to the Associated Press on April 1, the bill is expected to pass the House and will also stiffen the sanctions on Russia is Russian President Vladimir Putin takes further action in the Ukraine.

The bill will provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-strapped Ukraine and imposes more, tougher sanctions on Russia economic sectors. A separate bill, which is also expected to clear Congress, will provide aid to step up Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcast in Eastern Ukraine to counter pro-Russian broadcasts.

The United States and Russia have been at a stalemate since Putin ordered Russian troops to occupy the Crimea peninsula earlier in the month. On March 28, Putin called President Barack Obama to find a diplomatic resolution to the worst east-west standoff since the Cold War ended in 1991.

Obama is expected to sign the bills into law.

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