Senate approves sanctions bill to punish Russian Federation for election meddling

U.S. senators have agreed on new sanctions against Russian Federation because of alleged Russias ‘interference in the 2016 USA election, as well as the situations in Crimea and in Syria.The president has sought to improve relations with Moscow and rejected the implication that Russian hacking of Democratic emails tipped the election his way.It’s important to note that these sanctions haven’t passed, but Senate Democrats are optimistic Trump won’t veto them – in part because the 97-2 vote suggests that the Senate could override his veto.”For too long, the message to Vladimir Putin has been that Russia can invade its neighbors, threaten USA allies, intensify its cyberattacks, and interfere with foreign elections with very little repercussion”, said Senator John McCain, a strident critic of the Russian leader.The bipartisan agreement came in the form of an amendment to legislation the Senate already is considering on sanctions for Iran.This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. He said Tuesday the administration should be supportive of the measure.Tillerson is scheduled to appear Wednesday before the Foreign Affairs Committee, just hours ahead of a vote in the Senate on the sanctions. The package also would require a congressional review if a president attempts to ease or end current penalties. Ben Cardin (D-MD). From there, the bill still has to be approved by the House and then by President Trump to be signed into law. The only two senators not to vote for the bill were Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee.If the Trump administration decides to oppose the new sanctions, they could be in a bind.U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized the new sanctions while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, questioning how effective unilateral sanctions would be in deterring Russian Federation. Russian Federation is monitoring the situation closely, the Kremlin spokesman said. “This amendment makes clear that we will not continue to tolerate such actions, and I am glad we are one step closer to passage of our legislation to hold Iran accountable”. The sanctions measure has been attached to a bill imposing penalties on Iran that the Senate is now debating and which also has strong bipartisan support.The measure would punish individuals who conduct what the senators described as “conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government”.The House and Senate, as well as a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department, are all investigating Russia’s activities related to last year’s USA elections, as well as potential links to Trump’s campaign.The fresh sanctions would also see Russian mining, metals, shipping and railways affected, with the Senate also planning on putting into law some previous sanctions touching Russian energy projects and debt financing.