Russian Federation orders cut in USA diplomats in reaction to sanctions

Phillip Butler
July 30, 2017

Stung by new American sanctions, Russia's Foreign Ministry says the US must downsize its diplomatic and technical staff in Moscow and other cities.

"He may decide to veto the sanctions and be tougher on the Russians than the Congress".

Late Thursday, the Senate voted 98-2 for a bill passed earlier by the House that strengthens existing sanctions on Russian Federation and gives Congress the power to block President Donald Trump from lifting them.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin didn't wait for Trump's reaction to the sanctions bill because "the form in which it emerged from the Senate had greater significance".

Never in doubt was a cornerstone of the legislation that bars Trump from easing or waiving the additional penalties on Russian Federation unless Congress agrees. Reports of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election have put a damper on hopes for better ties that the Kremlin had pinned on Trump's presidency.

"The passage of the new law on sanctions shows with all obviousness that relations with Russian Federation have become hostage to the domestic political battle within the US", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing the moves.

"He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians", Scaramucci told CNN.

The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3.

A White House official said the bill would be reviewed, "but we strongly support sanctions against all three countries".

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly denied the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered using cyber warfare methods, has threatened retaliation against the legislation.

"This bill doesn't preclude him from issuing tougher sanctions".

"When will our response follow? That will depend on the final version of the draft law which is now being debated in the U.S. Senate", he told a joint news conference with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Moscow will ultimately have to respond to sanctions imposed by the United States that he condemned as insolent towards Russia.

The White House's rhetoric on the sanctions bill echoes that surrounding the president's controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, which includes 194 countries.

But other world leaders said a new agreement was not an option.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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