Overwhelming Majority in US Senate Votes to Continue Russia Sanctions

by Johanna Valdez June 20, 2017, 0:54
Overwhelming Majority in US Senate Votes to Continue Russia Sanctions

On Wednesday, the US Senate approved, by an overwhelming majority, a measure that would expand sanctions on Russian Federation and limit the US president's ability to lift said sanctions. Only Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voted against the legislation. Trump has repeatedly dismissed Russian electoral meddling, raising questions about whether the White House might reject the Senate's sanctions deal.

"I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday in an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

And it would impose new sanctions on "corrupt Russian actors, ' those implicated in serious human rights abuses or who supply weapons to Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, and people who conduct 'malicious cyber activity" on behalf of the Russian state.

Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York) said, "Any idea of the president's that he can lift sanctions on his own for whatever reason are dashed by this legislation".

Last year, Trump told The New York Times that he questioned whether it was in the United States' best interest to continue the sanctions on Russian Federation.

The administration fears that the sanctions, passed on a 98-2 vote Thursday, will tie its hands in dealing with Moscow, Politico reports, citing a senior White House official.

In addition, within 180 days after the introduction of amendments, the head of the U.S. Treasury Department must submit a report on the possible consequences of extending sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt to the Congress. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said the amendment's final language precluded that.

Worshippers hit by van at London mosque
Vanzella said she went to the window and saw "loads of people gathering" in a corner across the road from her window. Witnesses say a van drove into a crowd on their way home from a prayer at a mosque near Finsbury Park.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure Wednesday that would make it harder for the Trump administration to unilaterally ease sanctions against Russian Federation.

"We will keep them in place until Moscow fully honors its commitment to resolve the crisis in Ukraine", Sanders said.

Putin dismissed the proposed sanctions, saying they reflected an internal political struggle in the United States, and that Washington's policy of imposing sanctions on Moscow had always been to try to contain Russian Federation.

This bill still must go to the House for consideration; it's not clear whether it will be advanced by GOP leaders there, as the Trump Administration is not pleased with some of the details.

"I called over myself yesterday and just shared some thoughts with them".

The Senate-passed sanctions bill also converts existing penalties against Moscow into law, potentially making them more hard to remove, and prevents the Trump administration from returning two Russian diplomatic compounds seized in December by the Obama administration as punishment for alleged electoral disruption.


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