Moscow reduces diplomatic mission staff in United States to 455


"We will work closely with our friends and Allies to ensure our messages to Russia, Iran, and North Korea are clearly understood". The ministry said the sanctions confirm the "extreme aggression of global affairs".

"There is a tremendous and unprecedented effort by Congress to assert its influence on Russian Federation and foreign policy because it does not trust the president", said Elizabeth Rosenberg, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a former senior adviser at the Treasury Department. At the time Putin made the surprise choice not to respond to the USA move, saying that he was waiting to see how Trump handled the situation once he came to power. Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

It's unclear if Trump plans to sign the bill, but it passed with veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to the election allegations. They've also traditionally favored a policy that keeps Moscow in check for its own aggressive measures in Eastern Europe and Syria, as well as its efforts to disrupt elections in the US and across Europe.

"The Congress of the United States has sent a clear message tonight to the governments of the Russian Federation, Iran and North Korea there will be consequences for their unsafe, destabilising activities against our country, our allies, our interests and our values", said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Trump administration does not seem to have a problem with those particular sanctions.

Germany and Austria in recent weeks criticized the planned penalties, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping Russian natural gas.

The bill, which includes a provision that allows Congress to stop any effort by Mr Trump to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation, will now be sent to the White House for the President to sign into law or veto.

Global shares gain as European Central Bank meeting in focus
Inflation remains at 1.3 percent, well below the bank's goal of just under 2 percent it considers best for the economy. Aussie/dollar rose to 0.7987 following the news, but retraced the gains later in the session to last trade at 0.7924.

Trump can impose new sanctions at any time through an executive order.

Mr Trump had privately expressed frustration over Congress' ability to limit or override the power of the president on national security matters, according to administration officials and advisers. If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him.

Moscow also offered to Washington to cut the number of its diplomatic staff by September 1 commensurate to the number of Russian diplomats.

"The principles of trade enshrined in the WTO are also being violated but as you know we are very patient and are being very restrained, but at some point obviously we will have to respond, we can't go on forever tolerating this boorish behavior towards our country", he said.

At the end of 2016, President Obama cited US findings that Russian Federation had meddled with the recent presidential election when he expelled members of Russia's diplomatic corps and issued sanctions on Russia's mining and oil industry.

"It is well known that Russian Federation did and continues doing everything possible to normalize bilateral relations, to develop ties and cooperation with the United States on crucial issues of the worldwide agenda, including before all the fight against terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration, cybercrime, etc".

"This arouses deep regrets because such actions imply aggravating circumstances and special cynicism", Putin said.