Trump enacts new sanctions punishing Russia for election meddling

04 August, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
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Trump's desire for better relations with Moscow has been hamstrung by findings of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered to help the Republican against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that Trump would sign the bill, nearly one week after it cleared Congress by a wide margin.

Ryan's brief statement makes no mention of Trump's criticism of the legislation that had passed the House overwhelmingly last week.

"But at the end of the day, I think the president is signing this bill because he believes it's in the national interest", Pence said.

However, he added the sanctions bill remains "seriously flawed", because it hurts the executive branch's ability to negotiate.

"Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity", Trump said.

Further, the bill sends a clear message to Iran and North Korea that the American people will not tolerate their risky and destabilizing behavior.

Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the USA to cut its embassy and consular staff in Russia by 755. The first Russian reaction struck primarily at the US government.

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The new law limits Trump's autonomy with respect to Russian Federation policy in a provision that requires congressional approval for any revisions.

Donald Trump used a presidential signing statement on the Russian Federation sanctions legislation to whine at Congress for not repealing Obamacare and to brag about his personal wealth.

The measure also targets sanctions on Russian activities that undermine USA cybersecurity, sanctions on Russian crude oil projects and on certain transactions with foreign sanctions evaders and human rights abusers, among other things.

"While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russian Federation, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy, violating human rights, occupying Crimea, and destabilizing Ukraine". "In the long run this bill doesn't benefit Trump, it doesn't benefit America, it doesn't benefit peace in the world".

Russia's new ambassador at the United Nations says new US sanctions are "harming our relations inevitably".

The legislation, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, was passed with rare and overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress last week.

Russia had cautioned the us about the sanctions bill as it moved through Congress, while a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would hold off from substantive assessments about the bill until it becomes law.

The law, which heaps fresh sanctions on the Kremlin, also restricts Donald Trump's ability to lift them as Congress hit out at perceived meddling in the USA election.

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