US Senate passes new Iran-Russia sanctions

US senators near deal on Russia sanctions
Senators struck a deal on Russia sanctions
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26 June, 2017

Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. voting against it. Then again, no White House ever seems to support new limitations on its power or flexibility, regardless of the situation. If it passes the House, Trump could either veto the bill even though a Senate override would be likely, or sign it into law. The official said the administration is committed to keeping current sanctions in place until Moscow honours commitments it made over Ukraine and that the existing framework for sanctions is the best way to pressure Russian Federation. The recent actions by U.S. Senate strongly suggest that.

The sanctions are in response to a trio of Russian actions, including their interference in the 2016 election, engagement in Syria and invasion of Crimea. He has not publicly backed sanctions against Vladimir Putin's regime.

Require the president to seek congressional approval before lifting the sanctions. Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed his opposition to the legislation, saying it would hurt the "flexibility" the administration needs to "maintain a constructive dialogue" with Russian Federation.

At the same time, he also said he doesn't want to preemptively shut down a potentially productive conversation.

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But the Senate moved forward anyway. "But look, this bill is going to become law", Corker told reporters on Wednesday.

If the Trump administration decides to oppose the new sanctions, they could be in a bind.

Besides financial penalties, the new sanctions would also target those involved in "malicious cyber activity", those who give weapons to Assad's government and operatives who work with Russian intelligence.

A senior Russian official responded to the vote saying if the sanctions are approved, Russia will not let them go "unanswered". It's attached as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill. House aides said they expected the chamber would begin to debate the measure in the coming weeks, although they could not predict when it might face a final vote.

"This legislation signals to the world the United States' unflagging commitment to the sanctity of territorial integrity, human rights, and good governance", Crapo said.

In another challenge to Trump's foreign policy, the measure also "reaffirm the strategic importance" of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Trump announced at a news conference last week that he would support Article 5 after he failed to mention it in a speech at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters last month.


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