White House announces Trump's intention to sign Russian Federation sanctions bill

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 29, 2017

It's now awaiting Presidet Donald Trump's signature. And Congress would have quickly overturned a veto - a public repudiation that would underscore the President's impotence in this situation.

And the new bill puts the President in a hard position as he will now have to decide whether to accept the measures or veto them and anger his own Republican Party.

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia's energy sector did not undercut the ability of USA allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russian Federation. Another, all but inconceivable, item would be formal USA recognition Russia's claim to Crimea.

"He is in a lose-lose situation here", Beebe said.

In response to the bill, Russian Federation announced that it was expelling American diplomats and seizing property, reports CNN. Clearly the Kremlin believed that once President Trump took office the sanctions would be rescinded and relations would improve, so why not be magnanimous? "None. It would be a form of political suicide".

Mr Trump's administration is dogged by congressional and special counsel investigations into alleged Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

Russia had originally threatened the ouster of diplomats and seizure of property in December after the US ordered 35 Russian envoys out of the USA and seized two embassy compounds outside NY and Washington in protest of alleged Russian meddling in the election.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit.

The Russian Foreign Ministry then recommended to Putin to get even by also kicking out American diplomats, but the Russian president waited as he hoped his BFF would reverse the sanctions when he took over on January 20, 2017. His vow to extend a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit the president's leeway to go easy on Moscow over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump now faces an even tougher decision.

Republican Senator John McCain, a leading congressional voice calling for a firm line against Russian Federation, said before the vote: "The United States of America needs to send a strong message to Vladimir Putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on our democracy".

"There is a bipartisan consensus to confront Russian Federation across the board - from its actions in Ukraine, Syria, cyber, its election meddling - you name it", said Boris Zilberman, a Russian Federation sanctions expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him. Both Republicans and Democrats alike had predicted a swift veto override if Trump did try to thwart the measure.

"I don't think they are going to walk away from that just yet", said McFaul.

In another blow to President Donald Trump just right after his pet, Obamacare repeal bill, was rejected by the Senate for the fourth time on Friday morning, the Senate voted for a fresh round of #sanctions against #Russia.

But the Russian foreign ministry yesterday attacked what it called the "extreme aggressiveness of the United States in global affairs".

Mr Putin initially held off from retaliating.

"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. As the danger of an escalatory tit-for-tat grows, mechanisms meant to prevent US-Russian confrontation have been breaking down, analysts said. And in some areas, such as cyberconflict, there are no rules of engagement at all. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by telephone that Russia was ready to normalize relations with the United States and to cooperate on major global issues.

Russian Federation could actively work against U.S. interests worldwide, Beebe suggested. "So we see the legislative branch now trying to send a clear message to the executive branch on where they stand on the issue". The president denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. Moreover, German officials-echoed by Russians-have suggested that real agenda behind the sanctions is to boost USA natural gas exports to Europe.

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