Friday, August 18, 2017

Russia says it's getting conflicting signals from U.S. on sanctions

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he and Trump don’t believe measures will be helpful

Thomson Reuters
Posted: Aug 02, 2017 6:43 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2017 6:43 AM ET

Russia is hearing contradictory statements from the White House on new sanctions against it that have been approved by the U.S. Congress, a Kremlin spokesman said Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he and President Donald Trump do not believe the new sanctions would “be helpful to our efforts” on diplomacy with Russia.

But the White House has also said Trump intends to sign the sanctions into law.

Asked about Tillerson’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We note there is a certain contradiction in the statements being voiced in the White House.”

Peskov added: “Without doubt, it’s important that the president of the United States is thinking about the current state, and about the prospects for, bilateral relations.”

Eager to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election and for its actions in Ukraine, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly backed a new package of sanctions against Moscow July 25, prohibiting Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from Congress.

Lawmakers passed the legislation 419-3. The Senate approved the legislation two says later by a vote of 98-2. Trump is expected to sign the legislation “soon,” Vice-President Mike Pence said this week.

With files from The Associated Press

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