Senate to vote on aid to Ukraine

|By:, SA News Editor

The Senate is set to approve financial aid for Ukraine, including $1B in loan guarantees and $150M in direct assistance, and the chamber could authorize imposing further sanctions on Russia, although nothing too major.

The House could take final vote later today on measures that would deal with sanctions and signal a plan to raise natural-gas exports after already approving the $1B guarantees earlier this month.

The votes will come after Ukraine forged a two-year $27B agreement for international assistance.

Meanwhile, Russia's build-up on its eastern border with Ukraine totals over 30,000 people vs 20,000 last week, Reuters reports, citing U.S. and European security agencies. The forces include infantry and armored units and air support.

Russia has warned that capital outflows as a result of the crisis could hit $100B this year, which would cause GDP to slow to 0.6% vs a January forecast of 2.5%. Central-bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said she is ready to support the country's banks with liquidity but doesn't yet see the need. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has made similar noises about government backing.

Russia's Micex index is -1.15%, while the USD-RUB is +0.15% at 35.594.

More on Ukraine crisis.