Senate OKs sanctions bill to punish Russian Federation

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 17, 2017

The vote was 97 to two for the legislation, filed as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill.

The Russia amendment was part of a larger measure that targets Iran for sanctions over its ballistic missile program, human rights violations, and other issues.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday for new sanctions punishing Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and to force President Donald Trump to get Congress' approval before easing any existing sanctions.

It was introduced amid an intense focus in the US capital on relations with Russian Federation, and investigations by the Department of Justice and congressional committees of whether Russian Federation sought to influence the 2016 USA elections to help elect Trump, and whether Trump associates colluded with Moscow as it sought to influence the election.

These sanctions have been added to a bill - under debate and nearly certain to win passage - aimed at toughening sanctions against Iran for what the bill calls its support of global terrorist acts.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agrees that turning the sanctions into law hamstrings the White House. Alarmed by that prospect, a behind-the-scenes campaign began to prevent them from doing so.

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.

But Tillerson added, "We would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue". Lindsey Graham, reporters on Sunday. After bashing the alliance for months, Trump conspicuously left out any mention of Article 5 in a speech at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters after senior administration officials said he would reaffirm America's commitment to it.

Also included for the first time are discretionary measures the Trump administration could impose on investments by companies in Western countries on Russian Federation energy export pipelines to Europe. This amendment makes clear that we will not continue to tolerate such actions, and I am glad we are one step closer to passage of our legislation to hold Iran accountable. The deal ensures "that the United States continues to punish President Putin for his reckless and destabilizing actions", Schumer wrote in a statement that not-so-subtly suggests Trump might try to remove the sanctions.

"We need to wait for the final decision by the Congress, to see the reaction of U.S. President Donald Trump".

Authorize robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference.

Several more votes on the bill are scheduled in the Senate in the coming days before it can go to the House of Representatives.

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