Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Senators Look To Impose New Sanctions Against Russia

Senators Look To Impose New Sanctions Against Russia

Top lawmakers on two committees including Banking and Foreign Relations announced the sanctions which would require a congressional review if president attempts to ease or end the penalties.

It proposes punitive sanctions on individuals engaged in malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian regime and those companies who are directly and indirectly supplying weapons to the Syrian government, the report said.

The latest measure will be attached as an amendment to a larger bill that would see new sanctions imposed on Iran.

In addition to Russia's cyber-attacks that helped it interfere in the USA elections, the reasons for tightening sanctions include responding to Russia's violation of Ukraine's and Crimea's territorial integrity, and its continuing aggression in Syria. If it passes a procedural vote Wednesday, the Senate could vote on it Thursday.

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Banking Committee, outlined a Russian Federation sanctions deal earlier this month that would "codify and strengthen" existing sanctions from former President Barack Obama's executive orders.

The deal, which Trump has not supported, would also place more sanctions on industries, including Russia's mining, shipping and railway industries. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a separate probe.

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US senators reached an agreement on Monday on legislation imposing new sanctions on Russian Federation, including a provision that would prevent the White House from easing, suspending or ending sanctions without congressional approval.

Trump suggested in January before he was inaugurated that he would be open to lifting sanctions on Russian Federation if they helped the United States fight terrorists, though he said he'd keep the sanctions in place for "at least a period of time". Congressional committees and the FBI are investigating the Russian interference and whether there was any collusion with Trump's campaign.

Tillerson told the committee that he's still reviewing the new sanctions that Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed upon late Monday after lengthy negotiations.

The agreement, which passed through the Senate's Banking and Foreign Relations Committees, would add new and tougher sanctions against the Russian government for the invasion of Crimea in 2014, its cyber warfare campaign during the presidential campaign past year, and its support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

The Senate has clinched a deal reining in President Trump on Russian Federation, according to a key senator involved in the talks. Both have said that sanctions will not be relaxed until Russian Federation leaves Crimea. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), another key player in the sanctions talks, said through a spokesman, Politico reported.

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