US Senate approves sanctions against Russia over 2016 election

Angie Massey
June 26, 2017

The new Senate sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran came one day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on lawmakers to grant "flexibility" to the White House in dealing with Russian Federation. Then it will be brought before US President Donald Trump, who will have to either sign or vetoit.

"We have some channels that are open where we're starting to talk", Tillerson said.

Under the legislation, new sanctions could be levied on entities engaging in "malicious cyber activity".

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that he believes the new sanctions "complicate the Russian-American relationship", essentially echoing the sentiment expressed by the administration.

The only two votes against the Russia-Iran sanctions deal came from GOP Sens.

The president, who has been highly critical of Iran, would have to reject the tougher sanctions against Tehran if he rejected other parts of the legislation.

Monday's agreement, to be filed as an amendment to an Iran sanctions Bill, is meant to punish Russian Federation over issues including its alleged meddling in the USA election last year, annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for the government of Syria in that country's six-year civil war.

A bipartisan group of senators has taken a step to limit the Trump administration's ability to ease sanctions on Russian Federation, adding an amendment to a widely supported Iran sanctions bill to make sure Congress has a say in future Russian Federation policy.

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"This is a very, very strong piece of legislation", said Sen.

Sen. Lee has not made a statement on his opposition but is known as one of the few Republicans along with Paul willing to buck the majority and even his own party on foreign policy issues.

The legislation, authored by Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., does not affect the current nuclear agreement with Iran - an agreement that Wicker has condemned.

While imposing sanctions is an important step, far more serious action must be taken in order to ensure our election system.

The administration said Russia had been using the facilities for intelligence gathering; when they were shuttered, 35 Russian operatives were also expelled from the country.

House and Senate committees are investigating Russia's meddling and potential links to the Trump campaign, with testimony scheduled on Tuesday from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a separate probe.

Some of the sanctions were originally proposed by Barack Obama's administration, while others are new, but they are all meant to punish the Russian government for what US intelligence agencies say was an effort to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by leaking embarrassing emails. USA intelligence reports have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyberattack with the intention of boosting Trump's chance to win.

If signed into law, the document would prohibit the USA president from being able to lift sanctions without Congressional approval.

Other reports by GizPress

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