Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties

20 June, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Michele Stevens

Both sides of the aisle came together in the Senate on Thursday to overwhelmingly pass legislation that puts new sanctions on Russian Federation while limiting President Trump's ability to remove them, the Hill reports.

The bill, which passed 98-2, includes an array of penalties aimed at choking off the vast financial networks that United States lawmakers say Moscow and Tehran need to sustain their destabilizing behavior. Chuck Schumer of NY, the minority leader, said Wednesday.

The Senate also voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to add provisions to the bill allowing the usa space agency NASA to continue using Russian-made rocket engines and the 100 senators votedunanimously for an amendment reaffirming the U.S. commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, the second member who voted against the sanctions amendment, said that sanctions against Iran or Russian Federation are like "tweaking their nose" and not effective.

In November, Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei threatened us leaders that his country would react if sanctions were passed against his terrorist regime.

The new Russian Federation sanctions also requires the White House to get a congressional review if it attempts to relax, suspend or terminate Russian Federation sanctions. In addition, the anti-Russian sanctions, now issued in the form of the presidential decrees, will receive the status of law, which will complicate the procedure for their mitigation or cancellation. "We can have congressional hearings, we can put a spotlight on it". Then it will be brought before US President Donald Trump, who will have to either sign or vetoit. During that process, the sanctions will remain in place unless the Congress votes in agreement with the President.

The new sanctions "will of course complicate the Russian-American relationship", Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview reported Saturday by the TASS news agency.

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Mr Putin said that Russian Federation would be forced to make changes because of the sanctions, but they would not lead to a "collapse".

"Not only did we pass a new round of tough sanctions for Russia's meddling in our election, we codified existing sanctions into law, making them harder to lift, and we moved to make Congress - not the President - the final arbiter of sanctions relief when necessary", top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said before the vote.

A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea for patience from lawmakers in relation to Russian Federation, saying the administration feared being "handcuffed" by the new measure.

"Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.

The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and "continued support for terrorism". Lawmakers of both parties stressed the measures in no way target Iran's nuclear program or the landmark worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran.

"This is a very, very strong piece of legislation", Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said on the Senate floor. "This bill is the first time Congress has come together since the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, to do just that", Corker added.

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