On 3 April 2014, President Obama signed into law the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014 (“Ukraine Act”). The new law provides for the issuance of loan guarantees to Ukraine, directs the Secretary of State to provide certain technical assistance to Ukraine and other states in Central and Eastern Europe and authorises enhanced security cooperation with Ukraine and other countries in the region.
The Ukraine Act also authorises new blocking sanctions on certain persons. Specifically, the Ukraine Act requires the President to impose blocking sanctions and visa bans on any person he determines:
- Is responsible for significant acts of violence or gross human rights abuses in Ukraine associated with the anti-government protests in Ukraine that began on November 21, 2013;
- Is responsible for significant acts that are intended to undermine the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, including acts of economic extortion;
- Is an official of the Russian Federation, or close associate or family member, who is responsible for acts of significant corruption in either Ukraine or Russia; or
- Materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, (i) the commission of gross human rights abuses in Ukraine, (ii) acts that are intended to undermine the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine or (iii) acts of significant corruption in either Ukraine or Russia.