The measure is meant to punish Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 United States election, its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for Syria's government in the six-year-long civil war. They also target Russia's shipping, mining, and railway industries.
Putin dismissed the proposed sanctions, saying they reflected an internal political struggle in the United States, and that Washington's policy of imposing sanctions on Moscow had always been to try to contain Russian Federation.
It's important to note that the measure hasn't been signed into law.
The U.S. Senate voted to increase sanctions on Russian Federation, and give Congress the power to review any attempt by President Donald Trump to unilaterally lift them, a rebuke of the president's suggestions that the U.S. improve relations with the country.
The measure looks to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and to make Iran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism". Two Obama era State Department officials were alarmed at the review and told Senators Ben Cardin and Lindsey Graham that it appeared the president wanted to lift sanctions on Russian Federation.
The Republican-led Senate unanimously approved a measure emphasizing the importance of NATO's mutual defense pact, a not-so-subtle dig at President Donald Trump. The official said the administration is committed to keeping current sanctions in place until Moscow honors commitments it made over Ukraine and that the existing framework for sanctions is the best way to pressure Russian Federation.
To become law, it still must pass the House of Representatives and be signed by Trump.
House Republicans are expected to review the Senate-passed sanctions bill in the coming weeks, an aide told Politico.More news: Nintendo Announces Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions at E3 2017
However, they could not predict if it would come up for a final vote before lawmakers leave Washington at the end of July for their summer recess.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, says the unanimous vote "should reassure our allies and give notice to our enemies that America stands firmly in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our Article 5 commitment". In addition, the anti-Russian sanctions, now issued in the form of the presidential decrees, will receive the status of law, which will complicate the procedure for their mitigation or cancellation. The Russia amendment was added to the sanctions bill in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday.
"However, we can't accept the threat of illegal and extraterritorial sanctions against European companies", they said.
The new bill would slap sanctions on companies in other countries looking to invest in those projects in the absence of USA companies, a practice known as backfilling.
Under the legislation, new Russian Federation sanctions could be levied on entities engaging in "malicious cyber activity". "I think we struck a very good balance". Putin seems content to sit back and watch as America tears itself apart with partisan witch hunts and hatred of the president.
The Senate also voted Thursday to add non-binding language reaffirming the US commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, which requires members to defend other nations in the alliance.
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as the only two legislators voting against the new bill.