Senate passes sanctions; Putin accuses United States lawmakers of 'insolence'

Senate passes sanctions; Putin accuses United States lawmakers of 'insolence'

Senate passes sanctions; Putin accuses United States lawmakers of 'insolence'

"What we are seeing (in the US) is merely anti-Russia hysteria", Putin said, in response to a question from CNN about the state of the relationship in light of the investigation in the US Congress into allegations of Russian election meddling and possible tightening of sanctions.

Late on Friday, the White House issued a statement saying Trump would sign the bill after reviewing the final version.

Though at first he dismissed the accusations against Russian hacking as conjecture, Trump eventually said he agreed with the intelligence findings. The legislation bars Trump from easing or waiving the penalties on Russian Federation unless Congress agrees. The bill also punishes Iran and North Korea for their weapons programs.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enter a hall during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, April 12, 2017.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a comprehensive new sanctions bill against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Its response suggests it has set aside initial hopes of better ties with Washington under Trump, something the US leader, before he was elected, had said he wanted to achieve.

The bill, which recently passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, proposes stricter financial penalties for Russia's involvement "in eastern Ukraine, cyber intrusions and attacks, and human rights violators". Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. Russian Federation will also close down the embassy's recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow as well as warehouse facilities.

But as Trump faced the embarrassing possibility of being overruled by his own party, the White House announced late Friday that he "approves the bill and intends to sign it".

Earlier on Thursday, Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters: "I would guess that he (Trump) will sign it".

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"He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians", White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN.

He reminded, however, that "Russia has also many friends in the U.S".

The administration has at times demonstrated a willingness to take a tougher tack against Russian Federation via sanctions.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to conclusions by US intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election.

Trump responded positively to Putin's decision at the time calling it "very smart" and stoked hopes that it would usher in a new era of U.S.

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. Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia's energy sector didn't undercut the ability of US allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russian Federation.

It also imposes restrictions on anyone involved in Iran's ballistic missile programme and those who do business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

At the same time he said he regretted Russia's worsening relations with the United States.

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