With new sanctions, Senate forces Trump’s hand on Russia

The New York Times reports: The Senate on Thursday approved sweeping sanctions against Russia, forcing President Trump to decide whether to accept a tougher line against Moscow or issue a politically explosive veto amid investigations into ties between his presidential campaign and Russian officials.

The Senate vote, 98-2, followed the passage of a House bill earlier this week to punish Russia, Iran and North Korea for various violations by each of the three American adversaries. In effect, it would sharply limit the president’s ability to suspend or lift sanctions on Russia, and won near unanimous support across the Republican-led Congress.

Mr. Trump’s team has argued it needs flexibility to pursue a more collaborative diplomacy with Russia which, by American intelligence consensus, interfered in last year’s presidential election. But now the president will face a decision he had hoped to avoid as the legislation slowly churned through Congress.

White House aides have acknowledged privately that a veto would be politically awkward — at the least — for Mr. Trump to justify during the continuing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow. [Continue reading…]

Reuters reports: Russia risks being saddled with U.S. sanctions for decades, curbing economic growth and preventing it from regaining its status as a leading economic power, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

Alexei Kudrin told Reuters that the current proposed tightening of sanctions in Washington should not have any serious impact. But he called for a major structural reform program after the 2018 presidential election.

He said that was the only way for Russia to return to growth of more than 2 percent a year.

Putin has not yet said whether he will run for re-election next year, but is widely expected to do so and to win what would be a fourth term as president. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “With new sanctions, Senate forces Trump’s hand on Russia

  1. Jy2m

    As a small, insignificant human being, I am willing to hear again and again that Trump had relations with the Russians or Russia, that Russian money at one time fueled his immense fortune, but what does it means exactly? Certainly the Democrats do not really like Trump has being elected president, but, in my humble opinion, what is important is whether these supposed rapprochements between the Russians and Trump have had an effect on the outcome of the presidential American election And how. Even though the communications of Hillary Clinton’s team were disrupted by computer attacks which somewhat embarrassed his organization, is it because of this that the voters voted for Trump? Or, perhaps, were there any frauds during the counting of votes? If it turns out that there has been neither fraud nor manipulation of voting intentions in one way or another, we will talk eternally, but without saying nothing sensed, about the ambivalent relations of the USA and the RUSSIA, friends or enemies, or both, but, personally, this story begins to tire me, me small and insignificant human.

    Moi je veux bien, en tant que petit humain insignifiant, entendre encore et encore que Trump avait des relations avec les russes ou la Russie, que des capitaux russes ont alimenté, à une certaine époque, son immense fortune mais que veut-on dire exactement ? Certes les démocrates n’apprécient pas vraiment que Trump ait été élu président mais, à mon humble avis, ce qui est important est de savoir si ces rapprochements supposés entre les russes et Trump ont eu ou non un effet sur le résultat de l’élection présidentielle américaine et de quelle façon. Même si les communications de l’équipe d’Hillary Clinton ont été perturbées par des attaques informatiques et ont gêné un peu son organisation, est-ce à cause de cela que les électeurs ont élu Trump ? Ou alors y-a-t-il eu des fraudes pendant les dépouillements des votes ? S’il s’avère qu’il n’y a eu ni fraude ni manipulation, d’une manière ou d’une autre, des intentions de votes, on parlera éternellement et pour ne rien dire des relations ambivalentes des USA et de la RUSSIE, amis ou ennemis, ou les 2 mais, personnellement, cette histoire finit, moi, petit humain insignifiant, par me lasser.

  2. Paul Woodward

    Suppose someone broke into your home while you were elsewhere and they rummaged through your belongings but didn’t take anything. And on your kitchen table they left photographs of you and your family just so you would be in no doubt that they knew who you were, would you take any action?

    Of course you would, because most people would not take the lack of theft as an indication of an absence of harm.

    This argument that the absence of any proof that Russia affected the outcome of the election means that their interference was thus inconsequential, is either a dumb argument or its disingenuous.

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