Russia To Face Another Set of Fresh Sanctions
US House of Representatives approved a hammering package of sanctions against Russia over its interference in the 2016 US election and aggression towards its neighbors.
The sanctions were widely approved by the House which garnered 419 votes and 3 votes in opposition.
The sanctions bill included sanctions against Iran and North Korea in response to those nations’ nuclear proliferation programs.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.) cited important reasons behind the approval of sanctions against the three nations.
Royce said, “These three regimes in different parts of the world are threatening vital U.S. interests, and they are destabilizing their neighbors. It is well past time that we forcefully respond.”
The bill is expected to reach the President’s desk before the end of the month for him to either sign into law or reject.
Trump in Dilemna?
Whether to sign the bill or not, Trump’s decision will be the most awaited moment for the American community. His decision will serve as a test of his proclaimed detachment from Russia’s powerful elite.
However, the Trump Administration has been sending mixed messages about whether or not they’ll support the bill.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: “While the President supports tough sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Russia, the White House is reviewing the House legislation and awaits a final legislative package for the President’s desk.”
Sanders explained, “He has no intention of getting rid of them, but he wants to make sure we get the best deal for the American people possible. Congress does not have the best record on that … He’s going to study that legislation and see what the final product looks like.”
Why is Russia Under Fire?
There are prominent reasons why Russia was slapped with crippling sanctions, according to Congress.
In 2014, the United States and the European Union imposed coordinated sanctions over Russia’s occupation, and then annexation, of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. Russia’s aggression on Ukraine was strongly condemned by US and its allies.
The sanctions targeted Russia’s powerful elite which entailed travel bans and asset freezes, and companies. Aside from that, the sanctions directly hit the Russian economy, and Russian state banks and major corporations were jeopardized by the sanctions.
In addition, the Obama Administration accused Russia for its interference in the US election meddling. To punish Russia, US President Barack Obama announced sanctions against the regime that included closure of two Russian compounds used for intelligence purposes and termination of 35 Russian diplomats from the country.