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Trump will sign Russian Federation sanctions bill, White House says

Trump will sign Russian Federation sanctions bill, White House says”

In a statement on Friday, Russia's foreign ministry said: "The US is stubbornly taking one crudely anti-Russian step after another, using the utterly fictitious pretext of Russian interference in its internal affairs".

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia's energy sector didn't undercut the ability of USA allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russian Federation.

Earlier, Moscow chose to reduce the number of United States diplomatic staff in Russian Federation and halt the use of embassy storage facilities.

"We have something to retaliate with: the personnel of the U.S. embassy in Moscow greatly exceeds the number of our embassy staff in Washington", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated.

An official at the USA embassy in Moscow, who declined to be named because they were not allowed to speak to the media, said there were around 1,100 US diplomatic staff in Russian Federation.

The bill's sanctions are meant to penalize Russian Federation for its alleged interference in the election as well as for its aggression in Ukraine and backing of Syria's government in a bloody civil war.

New sanctions against Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which stands accused of supporting terrorism, and North Korea, for its missile tests, are also included in the bill.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said, in response, it is ordering the U.S. Embassy in Russia to reduce the number of its diplomats by September 1.

Russia's Foreign Ministry says Minister Sergei Lavrov has told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call that Moscow was forced to respond to the new package of USA sanctions and that it is still willing to improve ties with Washington.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday approved the Foreign Ministry's measure to downsize the number of personnel in U.S. diplomatic and consular missions to 455.

Russian Federation on Friday ordered a reduction in the number of US diplomats allowed in Russian Federation and said it was closing down a USA recreational retreat in response to the USA approval of a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russian Federation. Russian Federation will also close down the embassy's recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow as well as warehouse facilities. The White House had not said that Trump had considered a veto, but White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci had left open the possibility in an appearance on CNN on Thursday.

The bill targets Russia's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, citing corruption, human rights abuses and weapons sales.

"Neither action will help the U.S. -Russia relationship, which was already at a hard level", said Pifer.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit.

Russian diplomatic property was confiscated by the Obama administration in 2016, in response to alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

It wasn't immediately clear how many USA personnel would have to leave under the new order.

The two senators to vote against the bill were Sens.

The US also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the NY and Maryland compounds.



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