Russian official threatens retaliation over U.S. sanctions

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The White House has now expressed support.

Trump's likelihood of supporting the measure is a remarkable concession that the president has yet to sell his party on his hopes for forging a warmer relationship with Moscow.

Other than Russian Federation, the legislation also seeks to make Iran pay for its "continued support of terrorism", and includes provisions to curb North Korea's nuclear programme.

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Friday said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy in Russian Federation to reduce the number of its diplomats by September 1.

The move was a further blow to hopes in Moscow that Trump's election might help improve ties that slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War over the Kremlin's meddling in Ukraine and alleged interference in the USA election.

The proposed measures target Russia's energy sector as part of legislation that prevents Trump from easing sanctions on Moscow without congressional approval.

With it, Republicans and Democrats signaled bluntly that they do not trust President Donald Trump to act in America's best interest when it comes to Russian Federation. In the end, it was passed by both chambers overwhelmingly.

A team of House and Senate negotiators late last week resolved several lingering issues with the sanctions bill and also agreed to add the North Korea penalties.

"The latest events show that in well-known circles in the United States, Russophobia and a course toward open confrontation with our country have taken hold".

Moscow is already the subject of tough U.S. sanctions over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and support for a bloody insurgency in the country.

Trump has reportedly not decided how he will proceed.

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Even if Trump had chose to veto the bill, Congress could likely have mustered enough votes to override him.

"He has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it".

For Putin, getting Washington to lift economic sanctions is urgent. "I don't think they are going to walk away from that just yet", said McFaul.

If the oligarchs are not free to enjoy and expand their wealth because of sanctions triggered by Putin's geopolitical machinations, they may question that understanding. Yet Trump remained bullish on the prospect of working with Putin.

"Russia is the driving force in the sanctions bill", he added.

According to the man who was in charge of sanctions enforcement at the State Department, Trump tried to lift sanctions as soon as he took office.

In the statement, the ministry says: "Any new unilateral actions by the USA authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the United States will be met with a mirror response". He started lobbying Congress to block Trump from rolling back sanctions.

The analyst noted that there is huge pressure on Trump in domestic politics, especially amid the investigation into alleged ties between the United States president and Russian Federation.

But the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Putin interfered in the USA elections to get Trump elected, as well as a number of ongoing investigations into whether his campaign team colluded with Moscow, have made any concessions to Russian Federation politically toxic.

Trump's positions on Russian Federation are generally hard to assess because he's often stepped away from his more controversial proposals.

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