US Senate backs legislation to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation


The U.S. Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed new sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation and put a limit on the White House's ability to roll back any Russian Federation sanctions.

The latest measure will be attached as an amendment to a larger bill that would see new sanctions imposed on Iran. It also establishes new sanctions against those conducting cyberattacks on behalf of the Russian government as well as supplying arms to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and it allows for sanctions to hit Russia's mining, metals, shipping and railways sectors.

The package also would require a congressional review if a president attempts to ease or end current penalties.

However, aides in both the Senate and the House said they expected support for the bill would be strong enough to override a Trump veto if necessary.

The sanctions are in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, cyber-attacks and interference in elections and continuing aggression in Syria.

United States senators have agreed on new sanctions against Russian Federation because of alleged Russias ‘interference in the 2016 USA election, as well as the situations in Crimea and in Syria. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland did not vote.

The Senate voted almost unanimously Wednesday to allow Congress to strip the president of the power to unilaterally lift existing sanctions against Russian Federation, a matter that had many of President Donald Trump's allies siding with his harshest critics.

The administration fears that the sanctions, passed on a 98-2 vote Thursday, will tie its hands in dealing with Moscow, Politico reports, citing a senior White House official.

Though there's little dispute over Russia's interference in the election, questions remain over the goal and extent of the meddling. "We have some channels where we're starting to talk, but what I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off".

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

"It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common goal, and with action", said Republican Senator John McCain.

A senior White House official inquired again in March, however, asking the State Department to assess if sanctions on Russian Federation were harming USA interests and whether lifting them would increase Russia's oil production and therefore help the American economy, according to The Daily Beast.

Several more votes on the bill are scheduled in the Senate in the coming days before it can go to the House of Representatives.