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Senate slaps new sanctions on Russian Federation, putting Trump in corner

30 July 2017

28 de julio de 2017, 08:12Moscow, July 28 (Prensa Latina) Russia has announced today the blockade on the use of United States embassy properties in this nation, effective August 1, and the demand to reduce its personnel by September 1.

The day after the new sanctions bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia's Federation Council, declared that "the future degradation of bilateral cooperation is becoming inevitable".

"We have something to retaliate with: the personnel of the USA embassy in Moscow greatly exceeds the number of our embassy staff in Washington", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to conclusions by US intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election. The bill raised the threshold for when US firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

By overwhelming majorities in the House and the Senate both Republicans and Democrats didn't just defy the President, they deliberately opted to stand in his way on one of his top foreign policy priorities. The European Union, already extremely upset with President Donald Trump, had delivered a stern warning to the US over the plan to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation.

According to the statement, the Russian minister noted that Moscow's "limited and absolutely adequate measures" with respect to USA diplomatic property in Russia "is not a response on the basis of an "eye for an eye principle", but a forced step that fits perfectly into global practice and is aimed at protecting legitimate Russian interests".

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After all, since the early days of his campaign Trump proclaimed he was open to lifting sanctions, even suggesting he might recognize Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Weiss suggested that Trump's low approval ratings at home, his tendency to alienate North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies such as Germany and his inability to pass domestic legislation all contribute to a Russian perception that he is weakening the United States. In a weird turn of events, Congress has done something so reviled and irresponsible that they have actually found a way to unite the European Union with Putin and Trump.

It also imposes restrictions on anyone involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and those who do business with them.

Earlier on Thursday, a senior White House aide said Trump could veto the pending legislation in order to push for a tougher deal, an idea that drew skepticism in Congress because his administration had spent weeks lobbying for a weaker bill. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration continues to support strong sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran, adding "we're going to wait and see what that final legislation looks like and make a decision at that point".

Signing a bill that penalises Russia's election interference marks a significant shift for Trump. Sanders said he supported new sanctions against Russian Federation.

Senate slaps new sanctions on Russian Federation, putting Trump in corner