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Senate panel advances tough sanctions on Russia

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BRADLEY KLAPPER | March 12, 2014 04:25 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has advanced significant U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to pressure President Vladimir Putin to pull Russian troops out of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill in a 14-3 vote.

It authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine's new government and allows the Obama administration to impose economic penalties on Russian officials responsible for the intervention in Crimea or culpable of gross corruption.

All Democrats supported the measure. Republican objections include how the U.S. will pay for the loan guarantees and provisions in the bill expanding the lending authority of the International Monetary Fund.

House Republicans are pushing their own bill.