Putin threatens retaliation for USA sanctions
- Author: Megan Austin Jul 29, 2017,
Jul 29, 2017, 0:37
Speaking at a news conference in Finland on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin derided the sanctions bill now in the U.S. Congress as "illegal under worldwide law" - but he said Russia's response will depend on what ultimately gets passed.
If Mr Trump chooses to veto it, the bill is expected to garner enough support in both chambers to override his veto and pass it into law.
The Kremlin had previously said that it would not impose any sanctions on the US until Trump signs the bill.
At the end of December 2016, after receiving intelligence information that Russian President Vladimir Putin meddled in the US elections through hacking attacks, then US President Barack Obama imposed sanctions against Russia's intelligence apparatus. Trump had hoped to improve ties but his administration has been clouded by investigations of Russian election meddling. The House, Senate and Justice Department are also investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to sway the election in their favour.
Mr Trump's concerns include a provision letting Congress stop any effort to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation.
"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.
France and Germany have so far spoken out against the bill as it affects European industries while advancing USA commercial interests.
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 us instead.
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House and Senate leaders arrived at an agreement on the bill on Thursday, meaning it will likely be taken up by the Senate before their August recess.
The Senate backed the measure, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, by a margin of 98-2 with strong support from Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.
He bemoaned the worsening of relations with the United States, saying "Of course, we regret it very much".
Russia's leader Putin has declared the still to be adopted new sanctions against Russian Federation to be a special kind of "cynicism".
"He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians", he said. "That doesn't make any sense", said Edward Fishman, a former State Department official during the Obama administration who worked on USA sanctions policy.
"We are behaving in a very restrained and patient way, but at some moment we will need to respond", said Putin at a press conference with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinistö.
"The cooperation of Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China in its entirety, including the military component, is a critical element of worldwide security and stability", Putin said. "It's impossible to endlessly tolerate impudence directed at your country".
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday legally ratified the presence of a Russian air base in Syria which will allow his forces to remain in the country for at least another 49 years.