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Moscow Warns of Decreasing Ties, Retaliation Over New Sanctions

CAPITOL HILL Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Serge Ryabkov says Moscow will likely retaliate against the United States in response to a new set of sanctions punishing Russia for interfering in last year's presidential election.

The House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday that also expands congressional checks on President Donald Trump's abilities to ease those penalties.

According to state-run Russian media, Ryabkov warned the new sanctions will scuttle any chance of improved relations between Moscow and Washington. He also stated that Russia had previously warned the Trump administration it would mount a response if U.S. lawmakers passed the bill.

The new oversight powers were written into the law after more than a month of bi-partisan negotiations and procedural delays. An earlier version of the bill overwhelmingly passed the U.S. Senate in June by a 97-2 vote.

The House-approved legislation, passed 419-3, includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea in addition to sanctions punishing Russia for a range of activities.

These three regimes in different parts of the world are threatening vital U.S. interests and they are destabilizing their neighbors, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, a Republican from California, said on the House floor Tuesday.

Congressional approval

Royce said the bill ensures the tough economic and diplomatic sanctions stay in place by empowering Congress to review and to disapprove sanctions relief.

If President Trump wants to play golf or do something with his crony Mr. Putin, he can count the Congress out because we're going to punish Mr. Putin, ranking House Foreign Affairs Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel told VOA shortly before the vote, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: Voice of America

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