Published: Sat, July 29, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

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

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

The US Senate has voted nearly unanimously to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation, putting President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line on Moscow or veto the legislation.

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. It also proposes sanctions on North Korea and Iran for their ballistic missile programmes. Anthony Scaramucci, the white house communications director, suggested on CNN that the President may veto the measure in an attempt to "negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians" himself.

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.

Senator Mike Enzi said the upper house would vote on the legislation, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

"It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country", Putin said. Ryabkov went onto say that the economic sanctions would put the already tenuous relationship between the USA and Russian Federation into "uncharted territory in a political and diplomatic sense" and promised swift retaliation. The upper chamber previously approved a similar bill, but it was nullified under the constitutional provision that legislation raising revenue must originate in the House.

The bill would allow the United States to sanction any company involved in Russia's energy export pipelines - a threat to the construction of a major natural gas pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany, which boasts several European investors.

"This arouses deep regrets because such actions imply aggravating circumstances and special cynicism", Putin said.

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What followed were Internet hacks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee and high-ranking officials in the Hillary Clinton campaign, most notably campaign chairman John Podesta. "It's bluster", one Democrat said.

The Senate, however, has already passed an earlier version of their bill by a 98-2 margin - enough to override a presidential veto. "How other states in the world react to this, it depends on the degree of their sovereignty and their readiness to defend their own national interests", he added.

New sanctions could cloud Russia's economic outlook just as the economy is showing growth potential for the first time in three years.

"But we know that we have many friends in the United States, we know that there are lots of people with common sense", Putin added.

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.

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