Donald Trump's White House may seek to water down Russian Federation sanctions

To make it even harder for U.S. President Donald Trump, who had been seeking rapprochement with Russia for months, to reject the new Russia sanctions, the Senate also attached the new Russia sanctions to a bill imposing sanctions on Iran.

U.S. senators have voted overwhelmingly to impose fresh sanctions on Russian Federation over its alleged interference in last year's election.

A day earlier on Wednesday, the Senate added another set of sanctions on Russian Federation for meddling in last year's U.S. election, its reunification with Crimea and support for Syria's government in that country's six-year-long conflict. Trump has been reluctant to address Russian's involvement and has repeatedly praised the country and President Vladimir Putin. "The Foreign Affairs Committee is reviewing the details in this latest sanctions package being voted on in the Senate, and after that we will determine a path ahead in the House".

We hope this bill, once passed, sends a strong warning to Iran and Russian Federation that the U.S. Congress is keeping a wary eye on the two countries and that the legislative branch expects nothing less from President Trump.

The lower House of Representatives must still approve the bill before it would reach Trump's desk.

More news: Trump to clamp down on Cuba travel, trade, curbing Obama's detente

The second reaffirmed "the strategic importance of Article 5" in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the principle that an attack on one North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member is an attack on all members of the alliance. The amendment was crafted by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The Senate's Iranian sanctions legislation imposes new restrictions on Tehran's ballistic missile program, also aiming to punish Iran for supporting terrorism and human rights violations.

Senate approval of the bill comes more than five months after US intelligence agencies said Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

The vote was overshadowed by Wednesday's shooting at a congressional Republican baseball practice - two senators were there, Rand Paul and Jeff Flake of Arizona - but the Senate kept on its schedule, and the bill is expected to be passed by the end of the week. "I understand we take away some of their prerogatives, but in reality we give them a stronger hand that they can play with Russian Federation".

"What I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off", Tillerson said. Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed his opposition to the legislation, saying it would hurt the "flexibility" the administration needs to "maintain a constructive dialogue" with Russian Federation.

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