Trump to sign bill imposing fresh sanctions on Russia — BBCI

Putin decries 'anti-Russian hysteria' in US
US Senate backs sanctions against Russia despite opposition from Trump

30 July, 2017

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.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin didn't wait for Trump's reaction to the sanctions bill because "the form in which it emerged from the Senate had greater significance". And Congress would have quickly overturned a veto - a public repudiation that would underscore the President's impotence in this situation.

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia's energy sector didn't undercut the ability of USA allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russian Federation. The legislation, could put strain on Trump's ability to improve ties with Russia, which he has vocally pursued, but has been restrained by the allegations that his associates had contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign.

But there was "very little political space or rational for Trump to veto", said Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Wilson Center, said prior to the White House announcement Friday night.

Trump's positions on Russian Federation are generally hard to assess because he's often stepped away from his more controversial proposals.

The legislation, McCain said would impose mandatory sanctions on transactions with the Russian defence or intelligence sectors, including the FSB and the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency that was primarily responsible for Russia's attack on United States election.

"We propose to the USA side", the ministry said, "to bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff working in the USA embassy in Moscow and the consulates exact accordance with the number of Russian diplomats and technical staff in the U.S".

An official at the US Embassy, who declined to be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said the Embassy employed around 1,100 diplomatic and support staff in Russia, including Russian and US citizens.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "The passage of the new law on sanctions shows with all obviousness that relations with Russian Federation have become hostage to the domestic political battle within the US".

By signing the bill into law, Trump cannot ease the sanctions against Russian Federation unless he seeks congressional approval.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson by telephone that Russia was ready to normalise relations with the United States and to cooperate on major global issues.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to conclusions by United States intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election.

Faced with heavy bipartisan support for the bill in the House and Senate, the president had little choice but to sign the bill into law. "I just don't think that's a good way to start off as president". "The President has every right to veto it, but it isn't going to change the votes". The Senate on Friday decisively approved a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

"I can not imagine anybody is seriously thinking about vetoing this bill", said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Mr McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who has called Mr Putin a murderer and a thug, said: "Over the last eight months what price has Russian Federation paid for attacking our elections?"

"He can't not act", she said.

Sanctions relief is important to Russia's broader objective of superpower status, shown by its bullish Syria policy. And in some areas, such as cyberconflict, there are no rules of engagement at all.

The legislation puts Trump in a hard position.

"The Senate's overwhelming vote today sends an important message that America will not tolerate attacks on our democracy or national security interests, and that we will respond to such attacks with strength, resolve, common objective, and action", McCain said.

The president denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

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