Sábado, 22 Setiembre, 2018

White House: Trump Will Sign Russia Sanctions Bill

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov watch a display during the MAKS 2017 air show in Zhukovsky Russian President Vladimir Putin and Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov watch a display during the MAKS 2017 air show in Zhukovsky
Irune Rengel | 30 Julio, 2017, 04:58

"This legislation finally holds Russian Federation accountable for its brazen attack on America's 2016 presidential election by imposing new sanctions, strengthening existing sanctions, and requiring congressional oversight of any attempt to ease sanctions on Russian Federation", said Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The White House initially wavered on whether the president would sign the measure into law.

"The Senate's overwhelming vote today sends an important message that America will not tolerate attacks on our democracy or national security interests, and that we will respond to such attacks with strength, resolve, common objective, and action", McCain said.

The measure, which notably constrains Trump's ability to waive the penalties, is aimed at penalizing the Kremlin for meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election and Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two embassy summer houses that Washington said were being used by Moscow to spy on the U.S.

Late on Friday, the White House issued a statement saying Trump would sign the bill after reviewing the final version.

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In a statement from its Foreign Ministry, Russia said the USA must reduce its diplomatic and technical staff to match the number of Russian staff working in America by September 1.

An official at the United States embassy in Moscow, who declined to be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said there were around 1,100 USA diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

That number is 455, according to Russian Federation, but it is unclear how many Americans are now serving in Russian Federation. Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

It also said that Washington was using the "absolutely far-fetched pretext of Russia's interference in its internal affairs" to carry out "flagrantly anti-Russian actions".

The Senate backed the bill by a margin of 98-2 with strong support from Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

"It was the last drop that made all this happen", he said in reference to the "completely weird and unacceptable" bill approved by the USA last week.

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Still, signing a bill that penalizes Russia's election interference marks a significant shift for Trump. She didn't specify the "critical elements", and lawmakers have said the White House was largely absent as they crafted the legislation.

Friday's exchange over U.S. diplomats in Russia is "not the last thing the Russians are going to do and it's not the last thing we're going to do".

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, who helped broker the Senate sanctions deal, said he spoke to both the President and Tillerson in recent days about the bill.

A combination of two photos shows US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as they arrive for the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017.

President Vladimir Putin had warned on Thursday that Russian Federation had so far exercised restraint, but would have to retaliate against what he described as boorish and unreasonable U.S. behaviour.

The legislation also imposes new sanctions on Iran's ballistic-missile program and the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, and attempts to squeeze the cash available to North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

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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. The bill raised the threshold for when USA firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

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