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Anti-Russian hysteria hurting relations with US, Putin said

Anti-Russian hysteria hurting relations with US, Putin said”

The Russian government is ready to expel dozens of US diplomats and claim American property if President Trump signs a bill imposing new economic sanctions, a Russian newspaper reported Thursday.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said Democrats would work with Republicans to move the bill quickly, adding that Congress would swiftly override if Trump were to veto the measure.

Moscow has been circumspect in its responses to Washington's imposition of back-to-back sanctions, exercising restraint itself in the hope that the election of Trump would signal a breakthrough in relations between the Kremlin and the White House.

It is the first major foreign policy legislation approved by Congress under Mr Trump, who has struggled to advance his domestic agenda despite Republicans controlling the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill, which includes a provision that allows Congress to stop any effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation, will now be sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law or veto.

The bill threatens to further derail US-Russian relations, which deteriorated under former President Barack Obama.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that it is a "pity US-Russia relations are being sacrificed".

The move would mark a belated retaliation for a similar move by President Obama in late 2016 to protest what the USA said was the Kremlin's attempts to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election.

The bill, which passed the House by a wide margin this week, targets Russian Federation for alleged interference in the recent United States election.

Republican Senator John McCain, a leading congressional voice calling for a firm line against Russian Federation, said before the vote: "The United States of America needs to send a strong message to Vladimir Putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on our democracy".

"When the response comes, what it will be, that will depend on what the final version of the law, which is being debated in the Senate, will look like", Mr. Putin said, Russian news agencies reported.

Those sanctions were in addition to sanctions imposed on Moscow by the U.S., the European Union, and other Western governments since 2014 over Russia's encroachments against Ukraine, namely, the Crimea annexation and the war in Donbass.

Russian and European analysts say the sanctions reflect an ulterior motive whereby the European Union, denied access to Russian liquefied gas, will be forced to purchase energy products from the USA instead. But White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci suggested Trump in fact wanted stronger sanctions.

"I would guess that he (Trump) will sign it".

In addition to Russian Federation, the bill levies sanctions on Iran and North Korea as well.

The bill would allow the USA to sanction any company involved in Russia's energy export pipelines - a threat to the construction of a major natural gas pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany, which boasts several European investors.

"Technologically, this form is practically final", he said.

Once Trump receives the bill, if he does not sign it, he has 10 days, excluding Sundays, before he must issue a veto and prevent the bill from becoming law automatically.

The bill is expected to easily pass the Senate.

"As you know, we are behaving very calmly and patiently but we will have to respond at a certain point". "It's impossible to endlessly tolerate impudence directed at your country".

"Because this is an obvious attempt to use geopolitical advantages in competition to pursue its economic interests at the expense of its allies", Putin said, apparently referring to the EU's concerns over the newly proposed United States sanctions on Russian Federation.



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