Thu, Mar 27, 2014 - Page 7 News List

US close to sanctions on Russia

IMF ISSUE:Democrats wanted to uphold IMF reforms, but Republicans said the changes would expose US taxpayers if bailouts became necessary in other nations

AP, WASHINGTON

“The ambassador repeated the same Russian rationalizations and distortions we have heard since President Putin sent his troops and masked gunmen into Crimea,” Durbin said. “We made clear we stood with our allies and the world in condemning this Russian aggression. We stand with Ukraine and all those who seek a democratic future.”

On the House side, the Foreign Affairs Committee passed its own Ukraine aid bill on Tuesday, without any reference to the IMF.

The IMF provisions would have increased the power of emerging countries in the IMF and shifted about US$63 billion from a crisis fund to a general account the lending body could use for economic stabilization operations globally.

Republicans have long spurned the administration’s attempt to ratify the IMF revisions, saying they would increase the exposure of US taxpayers in foreign bailouts. Making the shift now, opponents argue, also would marginally increase Russia’s voting power over the fund’s finances.

The Obama administration and Democrats counter that unless the US approves the new rules, Washington will lose its influence at the IMF and hamper the body’s ability to avert economic meltdowns in places precisely like Ukraine.

The US is the only major country that has yet to sign off on the changes to the IMF.

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