US Senate backs legislation to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation


On Wednesday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 97-2, to impose sanctions on Russian Federation for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Last week, the former FBI Director James Comey stated that there had been many stories about Russian Federation which are “just dead wrong” but, nonetheless, reiterated the “high-confidence judgement” that Moscow had systematically interfered in the United States elections previous year without ever showing a shred of evidence for it.

Tillerson's urge came on the same day as the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan package of new Russian Federation sanctions. Dan Fried, who retired in February as coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department, told Yahoo News that there was "serious consideration" by the Trump White House to "unilaterally rescind the sanctions".

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

The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the global nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers. It complies with the Iran nuclear agreement reached in 2015, which put restrictions on the country's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

House Republicans are expected to review the Senate-passed sanctions bill in the coming weeks, an aide told Politico.

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United States senators have agreed on new sanctions against Russian Federation because of alleged Russias ‘interference in the 2016 USA election, as well as the situations in Crimea and in Syria.

The measure also gives Congress the ability to block attempts by President Donald Trump to lift sanctions against Moscow.

Earlier Moscow said that the plans of the American senators threaten to turn into a new "sanctions peak". To take effect, the measure would also have to pass the House of Representatives and be signed into law by Trump. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, both Republicans, were the only votes against it - bolsters existing sanctions and would allow Congress to thwart any presidential effort to curtail sanctions without congressional approval.

The new sanctions were proposed as a response to Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, said the amendment was also meant to recover from President Obama's term, when he circumvented Congress and used executive powers to try to shape sanctions.

The Senate said the new measures were meant to punish Moscow for Russia's violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity, cyberattacks and interference in the 2016 US elections.