US Senate to vote on Russian Federation sanctions bill; Putin threatens retaliation

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29 July, 2017

Putin described the sanctions bill now working its way through US Congress - which calls for new measures against Russia, North Korea and Iran, and limits Trump's ability to alter them - as "illegal under worldwide law" and warned that Russia might have to respond.

At the same time, the version the House passed with a vote of 419-3 would curb President Trump's authority when it comes to waiving those sanctions.

US President Donald Trump has not indicated whether or not he will veto the bill, which reduces his power to relieve sanctions on Russian Federation.

Reporters asked Peskov to explain why the Russian response to the anti-Russian sanctions appeared before Trump signed the bill. If the bill obtains enough bipartisan support among lawmakers, however, Congress would be able to override a veto.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly denied the conclusions of United States intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered using cyber warfare methods, has threatened retaliation against the legislation.

The Russian strongman slammed the intensifying probe into Russian meddling in the United States presidential election, saying it bore witness to "a rise in anti-Russian hysteria" in Washington.

White House aides have acknowledged privately that a veto would be politically awkward - at the least - for Trump to justify during the continuing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.

Mr Trump's concerns include a provision letting Congress stop any effort to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation.

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.

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Putin, who has repeatedly denied meddling in the campaign said Moscow would only decide on how to retaliate once it had seen the final text of the proposed law.

Those sanctions were in addition to sanctions imposed on Moscow by the USA, the European Union, and other Western governments since 2014 over Russia's encroachments against Ukraine, namely, the Crimea annexation and the war in Donbass.

He bemoaned the worsening of relations with the United States, saying "Of course, we regret it very much". Communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN there's a chance Trump could veto it. It also toughens sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

An adviser to Russian Putin told Reuters that any tightening of the sanctions should not have a deeper impact but hope they would be lifted has faded.

When House leadership took up the bill, they added additional sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The administration has at times demonstrated a willingness to take a tougher tack against Russian Federation via sanctions.

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. "And now these sanctions - they are also absolutely unlawful from the point of view of worldwide law".

"It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country", Putin said, referring to the sanctions.


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