US senators intend to expand sanctions against Russia

Two influential us Senator announced his intention to develop a new bipartisan bill that would expand existing sanctions against Russia and increase the defense capability of the United States in the conditions when Russian President Vladimir Putin intends “to challenge American power.”

Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Bob menéndez, said that they are working on a comprehensive bill that will strengthen sanctions pressure on Russia and at the same time will enhance the ability of the U.S. government response.

“We are determined to do everything that Congress has continued to participate actively in confronting Russian aggression, and in ensuring that Executive power has taken the necessary steps to protect the US and our allies,” – said in a joint statement, the senators.

Lawmakers have announced that in the coming days will bring a comprehensive bill providing for the imposition of mandatory sanctions in accordance with the Law on counteraction to enemies of America by sanctions.

This law was passed last year in response to Russian intervention in the elections of 2016 and other malicious acts. It provides a whole new spectrum of painful sanctions against Russian interests.

According to the senators, the new bill will impose additional sanctions, “to ensure maximum impact on the campaign of the Kremlin against our democracy and an international order based on rules”.

“Because Vladimir Putin has clearly stated his intentions to challenge American power, influence and interests in the security sphere, both in the US and abroad, the United States should amply make it clear that we will defend our country and will not hesitate to reject his efforts to undermining Western democracy, which is a strategic imperative for the future of Russia,” the senators said.

They expressed the hope that in the coming days their campaign will gain momentum and will be joined by other colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats.

The statement noted that the proposed bill will include tougher sanctions against Russian energy and financial sectors of the Russian oligarchs and quasi-governmental entities, as well as Russian sovereign debt.

Lawmakers also propose sectoral sanctions against entities of the Russian cyberspace, the creation of a National center to respond to the Russian threat, the ban on US withdrawal from NATO without the approval of the Senate, and unspecified measures to counter Russian disinformation and hybrid threats.

Requirement associated with the withdrawal from NATO, came after the statements of President Donald trump, questioned the effectiveness and relevance of the Alliance.

The initiative of senators also includes a call for the establishment of the office of the coordinator for sanctions in the structure of the Department of state, new reporting requirements for tightening of the sanctions stipulated by the Law on counteraction to enemies of America by sanctions, as well as assisting Europe in strengthening its democratic institutions to protect against Russian intervention.

The senators have not announced a specific timing of the bill.

Graham, another Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, has stated on Sunday that the U.S. should immediately begin to prepare new sanctions against Russia to prevent the interference in the upcoming elections.

According to Graham, additional sanctions need to prepare before the President, Donald trump will hold a second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Graham’s statement was announced after the American leader was subjected to sharp criticism for allegedly not showed sufficient stiffness, when put before Putin a question about interference in the elections of 2016 at the summit last week.

“We need to work with Congress on the formulation of new sanctions, because Putin does not come,’ said Graham, speaking in the program “face the nation” on CBS. – We need a new, harsh sanctions, which would be hanging over his head, and then to meet with him.”

Republican Senator Rubio needs to vote on the bill envisaging the introduction of new sanctions, if us intelligence officials will come to the conclusion that Russia intervened in the American elections. Rubio co-sponsored the bill along with democratic Senator Chris van Hellenon. Representatives of both parties renewed their efforts after negative reactions to the summit of the trump and Putin.

“I think the fact that they have intervened and will intervene [in the elections] in the future, not questioned,” said Rubio, speaking on CNN.

The bill Rubio and Chris van HOLLEN rossiskih directed against the financial, energy, defense and other sectors and makes the imposition of sanctions more automatic.

In accordance with him, a month after the vote, the Director of national intelligence, the United States will have to report, intervene if a foreign power in the election, and if such interference is detected, then tough sanctions must be imposed within ten days.