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'..We're going after Putin harder with tougher sanctions..'

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'The senators faulted Moscow for failing to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk accords -- a February 2015 agreement aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where more than 9,750 people have died since April 2014.'

'Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said Congress would pursue in 2017 more sanctions against Russia, targeting the energy and banking sectors, as well as "Putin and his inner circle."

"We're going to do two things: We're going after Putin harder with tougher sanctions and we're going to be more helpful to our friends, like here in Ukraine," Graham said.

McCain, Graham, and Amy Klobuchar (Democrat-Minnesota) said there is strong support in Congress to provide Ukraine with "lethal defensive weapons" to help Kyiv in its fight against Russia-backed separatists in the east.

The senators faulted Moscow for failing to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk accords -- a February 2015 agreement aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where more than 9,750 people have died since April 2014.

"How can you have a free and fair election or debate about the power-sharing with eastern Ukraine when you have 700 Russian tanks [in eastern Ukraine]?" Graham said.

Asked whether Trump may recognize Crimea as part of Russia, Graham said Congress would block any such move.

..

"We have learned on this trip visiting Estonia and Lithuania and hearing about these cyberattacks in Ukraine -- it has happened for years and years and years. And it's a technique that can be used in the French elections or the German elections," Klobuchar said, referring to two key upcoming elections in Europe in 2017.'

- U.S. Senators Vow No 'Faustian Bargain' With Russia, Pledge To Target Putin 'Harder', December 30, 2016


Context

'..the greatest long-term strategic threat from Russia will emanate not from its strength, but from its weakness.'

'..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..'

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'


'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'