U.S. Lawmakers Approve Aid Package for Ukraine

Lawmakers Approve Ukraine Aid Package

     WASHINGTON D.C. (WENY) --   With the growing unrest in Ukraine, U.S. lawmakers approved an aid package to provide assistance to the country. Congress passed the aid package which would provide up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help stabilize Ukraine's economy.

     It also provides $150 million in direct assistance. The legislation, which passed with overwhelming, bi-partisan support, solidifies sanctions the Obama administration has already imposed on Russian officials for their involvement.

     Ukraine is a nation of 46 million people. It's been struggling to regain stability since its pro-Russia President was removed two months ago. Ukraine officials say the country needs $35 billion over the next two years to avoid default.

     New York Congressman Tom Reed says this aid package gives the right message to the people who are suffering.

     "We've been supportive of sending the message to Ukraine that we're going to stand with them - as they deal with this terrible situation that Russia is putting them through, we also want to send a clear message to our NATO allies that we will stand with them."

     The Obama Administration welcomed Congress' aid package. But some lawmakers want the President to do even more, and impose additional economic sanctions - or even target Russia's energy industry.