Russian Federation sanctions pass Senate with limits on Donald Trump's power

US to be forced to cut 'hundreds' of diplomatic staff in Russia: Ifx

The bill was approved overwhelmingly by the Senators 98-2 and that gives Congress new powers to block Trump from easing sanctions.

The new package of sanctions aims to hit President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle by targeting allegedly corrupt officials, human rights abusers and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports.

The White House initially wavered on whether the president would sign the measure into law.

It accused the USA of using the law to "create unfair competitive advantages for the U.S. in the global economy" and said its actions breached worldwide law.

The bill, which had the support of both Republicans and Democrats in the House, aims to punish Russian Federation for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and over conclusions by US intelligence agencies that it interfered in the USA election. The first set of restrictive measures against USA diplomats in Russia will take effect on September 1, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the media on Friday.

But in a statement late Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had "reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it".

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered a reduction in the number of US diplomats in Russian Federation and said it was closing down a USA recreation retreat in response to fresh sanctions against Russian Federation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement Friday that while Russia has been doing "everything possible" to improve the relationship, "recent events showed that USA policy was in the hands of Russophobic forces, pushing Washington to the path of confrontation".

In the end, July 28, Moscow politely informed Washington that the United States must as soon as possible "independently to reduce the number of diplomatic and political workers to parity with Russian Federation". Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

In a statement the Russian foreign ministry said the sanctions were an example of extreme aggressiveness by the United States toward Russia.

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"We do not rule out for ourselves any steps so that, so to say, "bring back to senses" the brazen Russophobes, setting the tone now, first of all those on the Capitol Hill, and dictating solutions of the kind", he said. House and Senate committees and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump has yet to sign off on the package.

Lawmakers from both parties said it would be a mistake for Trump to veto the legislation.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, with a monument to Russian revolutionary workers in the foreground Friday, July 28, 2017.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin didn't wait for Trump's reaction to the sanctions bill because "the form in which it emerged from the Senate had greater significance". "Depending on how the USA will react to our measures, to what was announced today, we shall see what could be done, whether it should be done, in what spheres, and so forth".

"We have received the Russian government notification".

"The Senate's overwhelming vote today sends an important message that America will not tolerate attacks on our democracy or national security interests", he said. It also imposes financial sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

"The Russian side is suspending the use of all storage facilities on Dorozhnaya Street in Moscow, and a cottage in Serebryaniy Bor by the US Embassy in Russia as of August 1", the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it would retaliate again if the United States chose to expel any Russian diplomats, Reuters reported.

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