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Trump to sign Russia sanctions

30 July 2017, 01:29 | Marta Robbins

Russia Retaliates For Sanctions Approval, Hitting At US Diplomatic Corps

The White House announced that President Trump has reviewed the Russia sanctions bill and plans to sign it. The legislation not only would sanction Russia but limit Trump's ability to ease penalties against Moscow on his own

"What we are seeing (in the US) is merely anti-Russia hysteria,"Putin said, in response to a question from CNN about the state of the relationship in light of the investigation in the US Congress into allegations of Russian election meddling and the possible tightening of US sanctions".

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump will sign a package of stiff financial sanctions against Russian Federation that passed Congress with overwhelming support, the White House said Friday.

Though at first he dismissed the accusations against Russian hacking as conjecture, Trump eventually said he agreed with the intelligence findings.

The legislation includes language that bars Trump from easing or waiving the additional penalties on Russian Federation unless Congress agrees.

Senator Mike Enzi said the upper house would vote on the legislation, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the legislation with a 419-3 vote.

Moscow's latest move comes a day after the US Senate passed sweeping legislation slapping new sanctions on Russian Federation and limiting President Donald Trump's ability to remove them. He will be under pressure to sign it after weeks of intense negotiations. If the bill obtains enough bipartisan support among lawmakers, however, Congress would be able to override a veto.

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad.

Once Trump receives the bill, if he does not sign it, he has 10 days, excluding Sundays, before he must issue a veto and prevent the bill from becoming law automatically. Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

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The ministry also said it would bar the use of a summer house and storage facilities in Moscow by the United States embassy from August 1.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin didn't wait for Trump's reaction to the sanctions bill because "the form in which it emerged from the Senate had greater significance".

An official at the U.S. Embassy, who declined to be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said the Embassy employed around 1,100 diplomatic and support staff in Russia, including Russian and U.S. citizens.

"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.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to conclusions by USA intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters late Thursday that the President would review the sanctions bill. The ministry is also suspending the U.S. Embassy's use of two sites - a storage facility and a dacha on an island in the Moscow River.

The new package of sanctions aims to hit Mr Putin and his inner circle by targeting alleged corrupt officials, human rights abusers and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports. Legislators said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia's energy sector did not affect the ability of USA allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russian Federation.

The North Korea sanctions are meant to thwart Pyongyang's ambition for nuclear weapons by cutting off access to the cash the reclusive nation needs to follow through with its plans.



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