Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of the bill, said he's been updating the State Department.

Linking the Russian Federation sanctions to Iran measures will make it more hard for US President Donald Trump to take actions to ease sanctions on Russian Federation and would prohibit the president from doing so without Congress' approval. "The trajectory did not change".

It would codify in law the sanctions imposed by executive decree by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, especially against the Russian energy industry.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN that "we moved to make the Congress, not the President, the final arbiter of sanctions relief when necessary".

The Senate bill, introduced by Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker and a bipartisan group of senators, imposes sanctions on those who support Iran's ballistic missile program, acts of worldwide terrorism, and violations of human rights.

Senators on both sides of the aisle have been similarly resolute.

Additionally, the legislation imposes terrorism-related sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an arm of the regime tasked with exporting its terrorist ideology.

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USA intelligence agencies concluded that Russian Federation sought to influence the American presidential election previous year. It sanctions Russian government officials, their relatives and close associates deemed to be responsible for "significant corruption" in Russia and elsewhere, and those who who work for or on behalf of the Russian defense and intelligence sectors, those who invest or support the construction of Russian energy export pipelines, and corrupt government officials who enrich themselves after making deals to privatize state-owned assets. It also creates a congressional review process if the executive branch eases current sanctions.

The bill provides for a legal level of sanctions imposed by the decrees of the former President of the United States Barack Obama in connection with the conflict in the Donbas and the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation.

"Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.

For one, administration officials have reportedly been considering returning two East Coast diplomatic compounds to the Kremlin that were seized by the Obama administration in December.

The White House hasn't weighed in on the legislation but says it's "committed" to the existing Russian sanctions.

"I know that some people in the White House are pushing back", Brown said.

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