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16 Jun 2017

US Senate passes bill preventing Trump from removing Russia sanctions

The US Senate has voted 97-2 to pass legislation proposing new sanctions on Russia.

The bill also bars the Trump administration loosening or removing the sanctions already imposed on Russia.

The bill needs to be passed by the US House of Representatives and signed by Trump to become a law.

The US imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea on March 2014.

In context

US tightens sanctions grip on Russia

Democrats: 'Trump administration too eager to give Russia sanctions relief'

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Trump administration "has been too eager, far too eager in my mind, to put sanctions relief on the table. We cannot let Russia's meddling in our elections go unpunished, lest they ever consider something similar again."


New bill triggers congressional review if Trump tries changing sanctions

The bill amends an existing bill which sanctions Iran.

The new sanctions on Russia are aimed at punishing Moscow over its intervention in Syria and alleged interference in last year's presidential election.

Under the bill, a congressional review mechanism will be triggered if the Trump administration attempts to ease or change the Russia sanctions which the previous Obama administration imposed.

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Latest sanctions irk US allies - Germany and Austria

A portion of the latest sanctions have left US allies - Germany and Austria angry as it calls for continued American opposition to a crucial pipeline carrying gas from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline is partially funded by a consortium of European companies, including the Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, OMV of Austria and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall.


Putin slams US Senate's attempts to impose fresh sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US Senate's decision to impose fresh sanctions demonstrated the West's attempts to contain Russia.

He said the Senate's move is "evidence of a continuing internal political struggle in the US."

Russia's economy has improved and come out of recession despite Western sanctions.

Russia's decision to ban most Western imports have helped increase its domestic agricultural output.

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