Putin approves Foreign Ministry's statement in response to U.S. sanctions

Putin Signed a Law to Deploy Russian Air Base in Syria

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.

The legislation all but dashes Mr Trump's hopes for warmer ties with Moscow as his administration is dogged by congressional and special counsel investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

The original legislation was drafted in response to what the US intelligence community has said was a wide-ranging plan by Russian agents at the direction of Putin to interject Russian interests into the USA presidential election.

The White House has said Trump is still evaluating the bill and supported strong sanctions against Russian Federation, though tougher sanctions would likely strain the relationship with Moscow which Trump had been seeking to improve.

"Passing the bill on a bipartisan basis will send a strong signal to the White House that the Kremlin needs to be held accountable for meddling in last year's election", Senator Chuck Schumer said.

The bill is the first major foreign policy legislation approved by Congress under Trump, who has struggled to advance his domestic agenda despite Republicans controlling the Senate and House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump, who has spoken out against that portion of the bill, has expressed skepticism over the allegations of Russia's interference in last year's vote. The president denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

"We know that we have many friends in the United States, we know that there are lots of people with common sense", Putin added.


But, speaking in eastern Finland during a joint news conference with the Finnish president, Sauli Niinisto, Putin said he would wait until a final text of the new sanctions legislation had been adopted before deciding how to respond.

The White House's rhetoric on the sanctions bill echoes that surrounding the president's controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, which includes 194 countries.

However, Trump can impose new sanctions on Russian Federation at any time through an executive order.

"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", Scaramucci told CNN.

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.

"This practice is unacceptable; it destroys worldwide relations and global law".

There was no definite word on when the Senate might vote on the bill but lawmakers said they thought a vote could be as soon as Friday. "It is impossible to constantly tolerate loutish behavior towards our country", he said.

"This kind of blackmail aimed at restricting the cooperation between Russian Federation and other nations is a threat for many countries and global businesses", the statement said.

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