Senate proposes new Russian Federation sanctions as punishment for meddling in election

The new package of Russia sanctions, passed by a 97-2 vote in the Senate, was so far one of the strongest USA responses to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

"With overwhelming Senate passage of the Russian Federation sanctions amendment, the United States sends a strong signal to President Putin while ensuring the Trump administration has the flexibility it needs", said Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The question of new Russian sanctions has been raised by a number of senators in both parties after the intelligence community announced in January its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump.

The measure calls for a mandatory congressional review if sanctions against Russian Federation are ever scaled back or terminated entirely.

The House and Senate, as well as a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, are all investigating Russia's activities related to last year's USA elections, as well as potential links to Trump's campaign.

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Various senators involved in the discussions had filed three different bills to increase sanctions against Russian Federation over its involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Syria, as well as over allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Earlier this month, Yahoo News reported that the Trump administration secretly tried to eliminate Russia's economic sanctions.

Crossing what's become a large partisan divide in Washington, the sanctions passed 97-2 as part of a bill that has also taken aim at Iran, a strong ally of Russia's.

Broad new sanctions would be imposed on Russia's mining, metals, shipping and railways sectors.

He also said that Russian Federation took a negative view of a US Senate deal on wider sanctions against Russian Federation.

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Idaho Republican Senator Mike Crapo helped push legislation through the Senate Wednesday to maintain and expand sanctions against the government of Russian Federation. Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul voted against the amendment.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate bill's cosponsors, told reporters on Wednesday that the White House was already lobbying against the measure, Business Insider reported.

The amendment was negotiated by Senate leaders from both parties on the foreign and banking committees amid intense scrutiny of Russia's role in the USA presidential election. He's sending a top State Department official, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, to St. Petersburg on June 23to work through some "irritants".

"What I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off", Tillerson told a Senate committee. It's the latest sign that some lawmakers intend to push back on Trump's efforts to improve relations with Moscow.

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