A bill authorizing lethal aid for Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia unanimously passed the U.S. Senate late on December 13, sending it to U.S. President Barack Obama to sign or veto the measure, RFE/RL reports.
While the White House has declined to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, the bill authorizes -- but does not technically require -- $350 million of defense articles for Ukraine's military, including anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, ammunition and surveillance drones.
According to the administration, the U.S. government has committed over $118 million in equipment and training for Ukraine's security forces.
More than 4,000 people have been killed in Ukraine since March, and the conflict has persisted despite a September 5 cease-fire.
The bill also authorizes sanctions against Russia's defense and energy industries, including the arms exporter Rosoboronexport. The president may waive them for national security reasons.
It also allows Obama to sanction Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy giant, if he determines that it is withholding gas from a NATO state or Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.