US Senate approves new sanctions against Russia

  • IANS

    IANS | Washington

    June 13, 2017 | 8:38 am

(Photo: AFP)

The US Senate has approved new economic sanctions on Russia and placed restrictions on President Donald Trump's ability to lift them without being assessed by the Congress.

The deal, sealed on Monday night, imposes new sanctions on those carrying out "malicious cyber activities" on behalf of Moscow, those supplying arms to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or people linked to Russian intelligence and defence, reports Efe news.

The measure also gives Congress 30 days to review or potentially block Trump in case he decides to lift or ease the sanctions.

Moreover, the deal also complicates the lifting of sanctions already imposed on Russia by the administration of former President Barack Obama, and allows the present administration to extend them to sectors of the Russian economy.

The senators presented the deal as a separate Iran sanctions bill, under debate by the Legislature.

Both proposals could be voted this week, a significant shift from last month, when the Republican leaders seemed reluctant to move forward on sanctions against Moscow.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the deal and urged the House of Representatives to pass it as soon as possible.

"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 destabilising actions," Schumer said.

"These additional sanctions will also send a powerful and bipartisan statement to Russia," he added.

The Senate deal comes amid a crisis afflicting the Trump administration aver a possible attempt to obstruct justice in the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.


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