Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Senate proposes new Russian Federation sanctions as punishment for meddling in election

Senate proposes new Russian Federation sanctions as punishment for meddling in election

The Senate this week also added new sanctions punishing Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 US election, annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for Syria's government in that country's six-year-long civil war.

Among those targeted are a wide array of what senators called "corrupt Russian actors", including those engaged in hacking, seizure of state resources, human rights abuses and supplying arms to the Syrian regime.

The move comes amid political controversy over President Donald Trump's views on Russia and speculation over whether his campaign colluded with Russian attempts to sway the 2016 election in his favor.

The measure looks to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and to make Iran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism". Before passing the combined Russia-Iran measure, the chamber also attached a bipartisan amendment signaling support for NATO's Article 5 - which Trump earlier this month notably declined to endorse in Brussels - by a unanimous vote.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that at least on this issue - the need to impose sanctions on Russia - Democrats and Republicans can agree. Republican Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul voted against the amendment.

Senate Republicans and Democrats reached agreement late Monday on a new package of sanctions on Russian Federation amid the firestorm over Russia's meddling in the presidential election and investigations into Moscow's possible collusion with members of President Donald Trump's campaign.

The administration fears that the sanctions, passed on a 98-2 vote Thursday, will tie its hands in dealing with Moscow, Politico reports, citing a senior White House official.

USA intelligence chiefs have concluded that Russian Federation orchestrated a campaign to undermine the American election process that included espionage and cyber-attacks, as a means to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. "I think what I wouldn't want to do is to close the channels off with something new that's ill-timed".

Earlier, Trump has indicated he is skeptical about additional sanctions and has been dismissive about the role of Russian interference in the USA elections. Both Republicans and Democrats say they doubt Trump can afford to veto the bill. His fellow Republicans are putting him in a hard spot if they pass this, which surprises me very much.

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