Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties

Republican Senator John Mc Cain has lambasted Russia saying it must be punished for alleged interferece in foreign elections including last year's US presidential vote

Republican Senator John Mc Cain has lambasted Russia saying it must be punished for alleged interferece in foreign elections including last year's US presidential vote

"My expectation is that the White House will have positive things to say about what we've done", Cardin said.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday for legislation imposing new sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation, and setting up a mechanism to force President Donald Trump to get Congress' approval before easing any existing sanctions.

The legislation, which was passed by a 98-2 vote, seeks to punish Russian Federation for its meddling in the U.S. election and actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Voted for by 98 senators and only two were against. "We can not let Russia's meddling in our elections go unpunished, lest they ever consider something similar again".

- Impose new sanctions on: corrupt Russian actors; those seeking to evade sanctions; those involved in serious human rights abuses; those supplying weapons to the Assad regime; those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government; those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets; and those doing business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors.

Under the proposed bill, any energy project involving a Russian company, as well as any foreign firm that makes a sizable investment in Russia's attempt to develop next-generation oil-procurement capacities, is liable to sanctions.

It's important to note that the measure hasn't been signed into law.

It also aims to punish Russia's Vladimir Putin for interfering in last year's United States election, and to make it tougher for the White House to roll back sanctions.

Putin dismissed the proposed sanctions, saying they reflected an internal political struggle in the USA, and that Washington's policy of imposing sanctions on Moscow had always been to try to contain Russian Federation.

The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and "continued support for terrorism".

Under President Obama, top White House officials warned that sanctions would be risky to the legitimacy of the nuclear deal signed with Iran. House aides said they expected the lower chamber in Congress to begin debating the measure in the coming weeks, although they could not predict when it might face a final vote. The bill includes a mechanism requiring congressional review of any decision to ease the Russian Federation sanctions. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to push back at the legislation Wednesday at a House hearing. They blocked USA companies such as Exxon Mobil, where Tillerson was chairman, from investing in such projects. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and other lawmakers.

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