U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a bill imposing new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. Trump thus approved a bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.’ While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.
Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
“Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity,” Trump said, adding: “it represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States”.
“I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected,” he continued.
“As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”
The bill represents a response to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and targets Russia’s vital energy sector.
However, the bill also prevents the President from removing or easing the sanctions without Congress approval.
The sanctions also aim to ‘punish’ Russia over its involvement in Syria and Ukraine, but also impose additional restrictions on Iran and North Korea.
Earlier, senior White House officials said that Trump would approve the bill, and that he supports ‘tough’ stance on Russia, but US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he and the President are ‘not very happy’ about the bill.
The latest round of sanctions prompted Russia to retaliate by ordering 755 U.S. diplomats to leave the country, and also mentioned the possibility of further measures. Russia’s move was seen as an indicator of Moscow losing hope for better relations with the U.S.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it is unlikely that U.S.-Russia relations will improve anytime soon.
Source: BBC News