Congress overwhelmingly passes new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

Frederick Owens
July 29, 2017

The bill raised the threshold for when USA firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

In another blow to President Donald Trump just right after his pet, Obamacare repeal bill, was rejected by the Senate for the fourth time on Friday morning, the Senate voted for a fresh round of #sanctions against #Russia.

The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3.

"It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common goal, and with action", he said.

Russian Federation has always denied interfering and Mr Trump insists there was no collusion.

The United States will now have to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia by 60 percent to comply with the Russian sanctions.

Putin, who has repeatedly denied meddling in the campaign said Moscow would only decide on how to retaliate once it had seen the final text of the proposed law.

Moscow had complained that the "new sanctions bill showed with all clarity that relations with Russian Federation have now fallen hostage to the domestic political struggle in the US".

The package also imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile programme and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

More news: Neymar cancels fan event in China 'due to transfer issues'

The Kremlin had previously said it would not impose any sanctions on the USA until Trump signs the bill.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior White House aide said Trump could veto the pending legislation in order to push for a tougher deal, an idea that drew skepticism in Congress because his administration had spent weeks lobbying for a weaker bill.

Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn had to resign after his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak came to light, some of which are thought to have been about easing sanctions.

The sanctions bill was received by the White House at 1:53 pm (1753 GMT), a U.S. government source told AFP.

Republicans on Capitol Hill had downplayed the notion that Trump would actually consider vetoing the sanctions bill. Some EU officials have warned that the EU may rethink its own sanctions regime-carefully designed with the Obama administration-if the United States moves forward with the bill.

Signing the bill into law will send an inexperienced and undisciplined White House into an escalating confrontation with Russian Federation at a time when safeguards to reduce tensions have eroded and domestic pressure in both countries will make it hard to reverse course.

If he opts for a veto, the bill can become law anyway if two-thirds of both the House and Senate vote for an override. "It's a pity, because acting together we could be solving jointly the most acute problems that worry the peoples of Russian Federation and the United States much more efficiently".

"It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country", Putin added. In December 2016, Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and their families and cut off Russian access to two recreational compounds in NY and Maryland, at least one of which was reportedly used for espionage.

"This goes beyond all reasonable bounds", said Putin. "And now these sanctions - they are also absolutely unlawful from the point of view of worldwide law".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article