Published: Tue, August 01, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Kremlin asks United States to cut diplomatic staff in sanctions row

Kremlin asks United States to cut diplomatic staff in sanctions row

The Senate voted nearly unanimously on Thursday to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation, putting President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line on Moscow or veto the legislation and infuriate his own Republican Party.

After the adoption of the document called "the Law on counteraction to enemies of America by sanctions", the Senate, it must be approved by the head of state.

President Trump is now faced with a decision on whether to sign into law new sanctions meant to punish Russian Federation for interfering in last year's presidential election, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure Thursday.

But the Senate vote of 98-2, and the House vote of 419-3, showed a Congress that was nearly united in support of the plan, suggesting there would be more than enough votes to override a veto by Mr. Trump.

A key provision in the House bill would require Congress to approve the suspension of sanctions, blocking the president from doing so unilaterally.

"This bill will prevent President Trump from relaxing sanctions on Russian Federation without Congressional review", said Sen.

The sanctions measure has already passed the House of Representatives by a 419-3.

The new sanctions come as the White House grapples with several ongoing probes into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, which the President has blasted as unnecessary.

Mr Putin said the U.S. would have to cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russian Federation by 755.

Russia, Iran and North Korea and limit President Donald Trump's ability to lift the restrictions on Moscow.

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He said around 30 people had been injured and casualty numbers were likely to rise. Both are dead, a local police spokesperson told AFP .

The Ministry said "We propose to the U.S. side to bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff" working in Russia "in exact accordance" with the number of Russian diplomats and support staff in the United States by September 1.

Congressional negotiators reached a deal Wednesday night to send new sanctions, paving the way to send a bill to Trump's desk that slaps Russian Federation with new sanctions and limits Trump's ability to alter them.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump would sign the bill, but only after having negotiated "critical elements" of it.

He said it was "well past time that we forcefully respond" to the conduct of all three countries, the New York Times reported. "The Senate must act quickly on the legislation from the House", Schumer said.

The move comes after Russia has repeatedly expressed anger at Washington barring its diplomats access to two compounds in the United States in December previous year, under Barack Obama, in response to suspected Russian meddling in the USA election.

The legislation needs to be passed through the Senate before it can be sent on to the President to be signed.

The ministry specified that the actions are in response to a vote Thursday in the U.S. Senate which imposed harsher economic sanctions against Russian Federation.

If Trump chooses to veto it, the bill is expected to garner enough support in both chambers to override his veto and pass it into law.

"It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country", he added.

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