Senate overwhelmingly approves new Russia, Iran sanctions

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

The legislation, which now moves to the House, also gives Capitol Hill a much stronger hand in determining Russian Federation sanctions policy. "I would be very, very surprised if the president vetoes this bill". These latest sanctions are in retaliation for Russia's interference in last year's presidential election.

Both sides of the aisle came together in the Senate on Thursday to overwhelmingly pass legislation that puts new sanctions on Russian Federation while limiting President Trump's ability to remove them, the Hill reports.

The sanctions come on the back of numerous rounds of other punitive measures taken by the USA and the European Union in response to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and its annexation of the country's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

- Allow broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways.

Engel was unimpressed."The only thing that Russian Federation understands is tough talk and if they think we are somehow willing to relax the sanctions on them before they've complied with the Minsk framework and left Crimea, then I think it will just encourage Putin to continue his bullying and who knows where he will strike next".

"The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile programme and other activities not related to the global nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers". "Russians guilty of conducting cyber attacks or supplying weapons to Syria's government", according to Reuters.

Russian Federation condemns United States downing of Syria warplane as act of aggression
The U.S. -led coalition has in recent weeks escalated its aerial bombing campaign in northern Syria and Raqqa province. Using the "deconfliction line", the USA asked Russian Federation to "de-escalate the situation and stop the firing".

The bill would also impose sanctions on Iran with regard to its ballistic missile activities that are not linked to the nuclear agreement the Arab country signed with the USA and other countries.

The penalties have been criticized by Austria and Germany for promoting USA economic interests.

"However, we can't accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies", they said.

Also included for the first time are discretionary measures the Trump administration could impose on investments by companies in Western countries on Russian Federation energy export pipelines to Europe.

Half of the cost of the new pipeline is being paid for by Russian gas giant Gazprom, while the other half is being shouldered by a group including Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French provider Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as the only two legislators voting against the new bill.

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