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Russia Moves Against US Diplomats In Retaliation For Sanctions

Russia Moves Against US Diplomats In Retaliation For Sanctions”

Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russian Federation from 2012-2014, said he does not think that Russian Federation will escalate tensions with the United States just yet because Trump's assertions that he wants better relations with Moscow are encouraging Putin to continue seeking some kind of accommodation with the USA president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin tossed President-elect Donald Trump a bouquet in December when he chose not to retaliate for the United States expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds.

Republican lawmakers also pointed to North Korea's latest missile test as yet another reason for Trump to sign the bill, which also includes new sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

It requires Trump to justify in writing any effort to ease sanctions on Russian Federation and mandates an automatic Congressional review of any such move.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit. The strong bipartisan support for the bill was a sharp contrast to the bitter partisan rancor during debate over how to overhaul the healthcare system. Both Republicans and Democrats alike had predicted a swift veto override if Trump did try to thwart the measure.

The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3.

With near unanimous support in both chambers of Congress, this legislation sends a strong signal to Iran, Russia and North Korea that USA will stand firm and united in the face of their destabilising behaviour, said Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In effect, he said, it was "almost final".

The first sanctions were put in place under previous President Barack Obama in the wake of the annexation of Crimea in 2014 by Russian Federation, for violating the territorial integrity of neighboring Ukraine.

Besides angering Moscow, the legislation has upset the European Union, which has said the new sanctions might affect its energy security and prompt it to act, too.

Russian Federation on Friday ordered a reduction in the number of USA diplomats allowed in Russian Federation and said it was closing down a US recreational retreat in response to the USA approval of a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russian Federation. The sanctions also apply to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps security force.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters late Thursday that the President would review the sanctions bill.

Earlier on Thursday, Sen.

Trump has yet to sign off on the package.

Russia had greeted Trump's election victory with "euphoria", confident it would usher in a new era of close cooperation and an easing of sanctions, said Angela Stent, director of Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian and Eastern European Studies.

With that in mind, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian Federation wouldn't retaliate after the December sanctions, preferring to wait until the Trump administration moved into the White House.

Trump can impose new sanctions at any time through an executive order.

Some former officials said Russia could take other steps, such as seeking to help Russian-backed forces seize more ground in eastern Ukraine or to try to limit U.S. air operations in Syria, while others said any reaction might be more muted.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg.

The White House has been lobbying for weeks for a bill with a lighter impact.

The new package of sanctions aims to hit President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle by targeting alleged corrupt officials, human rights abusers and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports. "It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this boorishness towards our country".

Russia had originally threatened the ouster of diplomats and seizure of property in December after the U.S. ordered 35 Russian envoys out of the USA and seized two embassy compounds outside NY and Washington in protest of alleged Russian meddling in the election. And he let a challenge from Putin, who said Trump accepted his denial of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, go largely unanswered. "And now these sanctions - they are also absolutely unlawful from the point of view of worldwide law".



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