Legislators Support Russian Sanctions - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Legislators Support Russian Sanctions

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The United State's Congress is speaking in one voice, Russia's annexation of Crimea, passing legislation in the House and Senate giving monetary aide to Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Russia.

The United State's Congress is speaking in one voice, Russia's annexation of Crimea, passing legislation in the House and Senate giving monetary aide to Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Russia.

Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp both voted for the sanctions, at the same time that Representative Cramer voted in the House on a different version of the legislation. The Senate and House will have to agree on how to handle differences between the two pieces of legislation before a final bill can be sent to Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

Both pieces of legislation would provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and impose penalties on Russia for its aggression. And while the loan would benefit Ukraine, it could have an impact North Dakota's spring wheat market.

"As far as the positive humanitarian nature of the bill providing a billion dollars to the Ukranian people as far as what it means to North Dakota is it's actually bad for the North Dakota farmers. Because our largest competitor for spring wheat is the Ukraine. They always produce and undercut us on sales price," says Eugene Graner of Heartland Investor Services. "So, by keeping them in business, so to speak, it's keeping our competitor in business. If they produce less wheat, it's like having a drought. The last time the Ukraine had a drought North Dakota spring wheat prices went to $10 a bushel."

Lawmakers say they considered the bill only a first step. More legislation and sanctions could be expected in the upcoming weeks. Although Graner says the new impending sanctions have not created any major trends in the markets.

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