US approves Russia sanctions, Moscow says they are a blow to normalizing ties
Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov has responded to news that a package of further punitive measures for Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US elections and its 2014 annexation of the Crimea was voted through the House of Representatives.
Moscow is not happy with US proposal to impose fresh sanctions to Russia, as a punitive measure for the country's alleged interference in the 2016 US elections and its 2014 annexation of the Crimea.
Russia's deputy foreign minister on Wednesday said the proposal to slap fresh sanctions on Moscow that was currently being mulled over in Washington are a blow to the normalization of his country's ties with the United States.
Sergey Ryabkov was responding to news that a package of further punitive measures for Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US elections and its 2014 annexation of the Crimea was voted through the House of Representatives, which is the lower chamber of the US Congress and the first legislative hurdle towards ratification.
"The authors and sponsors of this proposed law are taking a serious step towards the destruction of the possibilities to normalize relations with Russia," Ryabkov said, as cited by Russia's official TASS news agency.
He said it defied all common sense and the approval of the law would be the work of the enemies of Russia and the US.
The European Union is also concerned about the United States decision to impose sanctions against Russia, saying they may cause upheaval in Europe’s energy market, as reported in The New York Times. New sanctions may have a negative impact to European companies with potential business in Russia’s energy export pipelines, says the NY Paper. On the other hand, Central european countries want to reduce their energy dependence on Russia.
The bill awaits a final vote in the Senate before it can be presented to US President Donald Trump, who has the power to veto the measure.
The bill also includes extended punitive measures against North Korea and Iran and would limit Trump's capacity to ease sanctions on Russia in the future without seeking the approval of lawmakers.
Sanctions against Iran stand on accusations of supporting "terrorism"; and North Korea, for its missile tests, are also included in the bill backed by house members.
Since taking over at the White House in Jan., Trump has been fighting off accusations that members of his election campaign team colluded with Russia in order to gather damaging information against his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton.