Tillerson's claims about Russian sanctions derided by Moscow

Lucy Bush
July 31, 2017

It said in a statement that the decision by Congress to impose new sanctions confirmed "the extreme aggression of the United States in worldwide affairs".

It passed in the Senate on Thursday 98-2 and in the House on Tuesday by 419-3.

U.S. President Donald Trump will reportedly sign the legislation into law.

The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously on July 27 to cement into law sanctions on Russia despite objections from President Donald Trump and a promise of retaliation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The Senate's overwhelming vote today sends an important message that America will not tolerate attacks on our democracy or national security interests, and that we will respond to such attacks with strength, resolve, common objective, and action", McCain said.

An official at the USA embassy in Moscow, who declined to be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said there were around 1,100 US diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

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"The President and the administration support sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea".

"We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary", Tillerson said in a statement.

Even if Trump had made a decision to veto the bill, Congress could likely have mustered enough votes to override him.

Trump has yet to sign off on the package.

But faced with heavy bipartisan support for the bill in the House and Senate, the president had little choice but to sign the bill into law.

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.

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It would impose mandatory visa bans and asset freezes on any individual that undermines the cybersecurity of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions.

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. "And it would take new steps to tighten those sanctions", McCain said on the Senate floor.

McCain said that the USA needs to send a strong message to Vladimir Putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on its democracy.

"We will work closely with our friends and allies to ensure our messages to Russia, Iran, and North Korea are clearly understood", Mr Tillerson's statement concluded.

Trump had privately expressed frustration over Congress' ability to limit or override the power of the president on national security matters, according to Trump administration officials and advisers.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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