US Senate votes near unanimously for Russia, Iran sanctions

US Senate votes near unanimously for Russia, Iran sanctions

US Senate votes near unanimously for Russia, Iran sanctions

The libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only other "no" vote against the bill.

Known as the Crapo Amendment, after Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the measure was endorsed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).

During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Tillerson urged the Congress "to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation".

Existing US sanctions imposed by the Obama administration have hurt Russia's economy, but haven't moved the Kremlin on policy, according to Saradzhyan.

The measure also asserts a role for Congress if the White House opts to ease any sanctions against Moscow. "This bill is the first time Congress has come together since the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, to do just that", Corker added.

But Democrats fear that the White House would be very demanding in its efforts to dilute the legislation.

Broad new sanctions would be imposed on Russia's mining, metals, shipping and railways sectors.

Tillerson, who has said he wants to improve relations with Russian Federation, urged lawmakers Wednesday not to constrict the administration.

"This policy has always existed-restraining Russian Federation", he said.

Moscow will wait and see how new United States sanctions targeting Russian Federation would look like if introduced but they are counterproductive for the bilateral ties, Putin said.

The measure would punish individuals who conduct what the senators described as "conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government".

"It is, of course, evidence of the continuing domestic political battle in the States", said Mr. Putin, speaking at his annual call-in program in which he takes questions from Russians across the country.

The bill establishes a review process for Congress to have a say whether the White House eases Russian Federation sanctions. Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to support a full and thorough - and most importantly, independent - investigation into exactly what happened during the 2016 election.

Though there's little dispute over Russia's interference in the election, questions remain over the goal and extent of the meddling. Before passing the combined Russia-Iran measure, the chamber also attached a bipartisan amendment signaling support for NATO's Article 5 - which Trump earlier this month notably declined to endorse in Brussels - by a unanimous vote.

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