Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

A Strong Russia Sanctions Bill

The US Senate on Thursday overwhelming approved fresh sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme and on Russian Federation for its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

The 100-member Senate backed the measure on Thursday by a margin of 98-2.

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The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile programme and other activities not related to the worldwide nuclear agreement reached with the U.S. and other world powers. It sanctions Russian government officials, their relatives and close associates deemed to be responsible for "significant corruption" in Russia and elsewhere, and those who who work for or on behalf of the Russian defense and intelligence sectors, those who invest or support the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, and corrupt government officials who enrich themselves after making deals to privatize state-owned assets. This massive project, which would link Russia to Germany while bypassing Ukraine, would double the Russian natural-gas company Gazprom's capacity to move oil directly into Europe and make the Continent even more dependent on Russian resources.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve sanctions against Russian Federation for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

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Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate bill's cosponsors, told reporters on Wednesday that the White House was already lobbying against the measure, Business Insider reported.

"I'm concerned about it, but I don't really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House", Sen. That provision also mandates that Congress approve any easing of sanctions against the Kremlin. "This bill demonstrates to the Iranian regime that they will not be tolerated". However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to push back at the legislation Wednesday at a House hearing.

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It remained unknown whether Trump, who had been seeking rapprochement with Russian Federation for months, would sign the bill into law. The Crapo Amendment on Russian Federation mostly was created to prevent the president from removing any sanctions without Congressional permission, but quickly expanded to include large new sanctions against mining and energy production within Russian Federation. It's not like the sanctions are a surprise to President Putin, who has been following the anti-Trump hysteria in Washington fairly closely. Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only two "no" votes.

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