The friendship between US president Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is not hidden. However, the relations between the two leaders as well as their respective countries may suffer a setback due to the new sanctions the US parliament has imposed on Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea for their dangerous and belligerent actions that undermine America and its allies. (news.rediff.com)
The sanctions bill was passed with a 419-3 vote in the lower house of the US Congress. It has been aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the US Presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. It also seeks to make Tehran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism." (news.rediff.com)
According to Ed Royce, chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, an author of the bill, the three regimes i.e. Russian, Iranian and North Korean, are threatening vital US interests and destabilising their neighbours. He said that it is time to respond forcefully. (news.rediff.com)
The North Korea-related sanctions will bar ships owned by the reclusive nation or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against Pyongyang from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea's forced labour would be prohibited from entering the United States.
The sanctions against Iran will impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo. Democrats said the new sanctions on Iran don't conflict with the Iran nuclear deal. (tbo.com)
US parliament vs Trump
The new sanctions prohibit President Donald Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from Congress.
The bill has now headed to the Senate, where there is support for sanctions but debate about whether to include penalties on North Korea. If senators move quickly, the bill could be ready for Trump's signature before Congress exits Washington for its regular August recess. The Senate, like the House, is expected to pass the legislation by a veto-proof margin. (tbo.com)
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reacted to this and made it clear that the new US sanctions against Russia have left no room to improve ties between Moscow and Washington in the near future and have taken the relationship into uncharted waters. (in.reuters.com)
Though Trump hasn't threatened to reject the bill, his persistent overtures to Russia have pushed lawmakers to include the sanctions review. According to the bill, Trump is required to send Congress a report explaining why he wants to suspend or terminate a particular set of the sanctions on Russia. Lawmakers would then have 30 days to decide whether to allow the move or reject it. (tbo.com)
Many lawmakers believe that more sanctions put the US in a position of strength in any negotiations with Moscow.