Date
26 September 2017
John McCain is among the US Senators who have called for a tougher line from Washington against Russia. Photo: Reuters
John McCain is among the US Senators who have called for a tougher line from Washington against Russia. Photo: Reuters

US Senate approves new sanctions on Russia

The US Senate voted nearly unanimously on Thursday to impose new sanctions on Russia despite President Donald Trump’s objections to the legislation, Reuters reports.

The Senate backed the measure by a margin of 98-2 with strong support from Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

The bill will now be sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto.

If the president chooses to veto it, the bill is expected to garner enough support in both chambers to override his veto and pass it into law.

The bill threatens to further derail US-Russian relations, which deteriorated under former President Barack Obama.

Trump had hoped to improve ties but his administration has been clouded by investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election to help Trump. 

The sanctions measure has already passed the House of Representatives by a 419-3.

Republicans and Democrats have pushed for more sanctions partly as a response to conclusions by US intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the election.

Speaking just before the Senate passed the bill, Republican Senator John McCain, a leading congressional voice calling for a firm line against Russia, said the US “needs to send a strong message to Vladimir Putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on our democracy.”

Putin, who has repeatedly denied meddling in the campaign, said Moscow will decide on how to retaliate once it sees the final text of the proposed law.

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RC

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