Lunedi, 28 Mag, 2018

US Senate votes overwhelmingly for tougher Russian sanctions amidst poll meddling probe

Сенат США проголосовал за ужесточение санкций против России Senate passes bill to impose new sanctions on Iran
Parmenio Sano | 19 Giugno, 2017, 06:55

The Senate this week also added new sanctions punishing Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 usa election, annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for Syria's government in that country's six-year-long civil war.

The amendment to the underlying Iran sanctions bill maintains and substantially expands sanctions against the government of Russian Federation in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria.

Currently, President Trump could relax the Russian sanctions unilaterally; these provisions would take that power away from him, and force any changes to go through the Congress.

The legislation would impose new sanctions against "corrupt Russian actors", "those involved in serious human rights abuses", Russians providing arms to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime or those engaged in cyberattacks on behalf of the government.

The Trump administration reportedly is weighing the return of Russian compounds on USA soil seized by the Obama administration, and the president has repeatedly expressed a desire for better relations with Moscow while downplaying the impact of Russia's cyber activities.

The measure flew in the face of President Donald Trump-who has both steadfastly called for better relations with Moscow and denied it had meddled in the election that saw him rise to power last year-now faces a hard decision on whether or not to sign the bill.

He said he's still reviewing the proposed penalties that Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed upon after lengthy negotiations.

A day earlier, the Senate voted to adopt an amendment to the bill that would expand sanctions against Russia, CBS News reported.

The measures need the approval of the House of Representatives and to be signed into law by President Trump, although they are thought to have enough Congressional support to override any veto. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

The underlying bill imposed new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program and support for worldwide terrorism.

The rare bipartisan move was a blow to the Trump administration, which is looking for room to negotiate with Russian Federation.

While Donald Trump seems determined to make America best friends with Russian Federation - handing over top secret intelligence and trying to lift sanctions against the country - a almost united Senate is standing in his way.

"“By codifying existing sanctions and requiring Congressional review of any decision to weaken or lift them, we are ensuring that the United States continues to punish President [Vladimir] Putin for his reckless and destabilizing actions", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a statement, as cited by Reuters.

The sanctions come on the back of numerous rounds of other punitive measures taken by the USA and the European Union in response to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and its annexation of the country's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.


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