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Putin warns new sanctions will 'complicate' ties between Russian Federation and US

17 June 2017

The bill also includes a new round of sanctions laws aimed at Russian Federation, which the Senate attached to the Iran bill on Wednesday, moving to punish Moscow for transgressions against Ukraine and for meddling in the US election past year.

On Thursday the Senate voted to impose new sanctions on Iran that will expand penalties for terrorism and Tehran's continuing push for ballistic missiles. The measure also would prevent President Donald Trump from unilaterally easing existing sanctions imposed since 2014 over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to journalists following a live nationwide broadcast call-in in Moscow, Russia June 15, 2017.

Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) voted against the amendment, while Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) abstained.

The review mechanism was styled after 2015 legislation pushed by Republicans and approved overwhelmingly in the Senate that gave Congress a vote on whether President Barack Obama could lift sanctions against Iran.

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The Russia sanctions amendment was added to an Iranian sanctions bill on the Senate floor after a deal was struck earlier this week between the Republican and Democratic heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees.

Germany on Friday accused Washington of hurting European power companies through the new sanctions against Russian Federation that target the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Europe.

The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and other activities not related to the worldwide nuclear agreement reached with the United States and other world powers.

Still, Corker and other Republicans said they expect Trump to sign the bill if it's passed by the House.

The bill comes up for a final vote at the end of July, before lawmakers leave Washington for their summer recess.

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Trump administration officials, however, have expressed some concerns with the package.

Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had questioned the legislation in testimony in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Previously, U.S. energy sanctions had only targeted Russia's future high-tech energy projects, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic, fracking and offshore drilling.

The new bill would slap sanctions on companies in other countries looking to invest in those projects in the absence of US companies, a practice known as backfilling.

The new sanctions include additional punitive measures against Russia's defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restrict dealings with the country's banks and energy companies, Sputnik reported.

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As voting continued, the 100-member Senate backed the measure by a margin of 96-2.

Putin warns new sanctions will 'complicate' ties between Russian Federation and US