Trump ready to sign Russian Federation sanctions bill

Donald Trump defied as US House approves new Russia sanctions

The announcement came the morning after Senate voted 98 to 2 for the legislation, which slaps new penalties on Russia and also limits Trump's ability to lift anti-Russian sanctions already in place.

Russia will consider a set of measures which will depend on how the United States will react to the situation, according to the Russian official.

A top Russian diplomat on Sunday lambasted the United States Congress for voting to sanction Russia, and warned of retaliation by Moscow.

If Trump is serious about wanting tougher sanctions on Russian than those Congress wants to implement, there's no reason Trump couldn't sign the sanctions bill and then lobby for stronger measures.

It's unclear if Trump will sign the measure, which would restrict the President's ability to suspend or lift sanctions on Russian Federation in the future, but there are enough votes to overturn Trump's veto if he chooses to oppose the bill.

The House passed the sanctions package on Tuesday in an overwhelming 419-3 vote, and an intra-GOP squabble that threatened to delay its passage was quickly resolved Wednesday night.

The White House has not been clear about what the president will do.

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Tensions between the USA and Russian Federation have deepened since the election, despite a relatively warm relationship between Trump and Putin. Trump has repeatedly argued for better relations with Moscow, despite several investigations into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

In December 2016, Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and their families and cut off Russian access to two recreational compounds in NY and Maryland, at least one of which was reportedly used for espionage.

The White House says Trump supports sanctions on the three countries in question and will review the legislation.

Trump's aides have given conflicting indications of whether he would sign the legislation. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters: "I would guess that he (Trump) will sign it".

The Ministry said "We propose to the U.S. side to bring the number of diplomatic and technical staff" working in Russia "in exact accordance" with the number of Russian diplomats and support staff in the United States by September 1.

The lawmaker added that a whole range of political measures may be adopted in the future, including an entry ban for those who voted in favour of anti-Russia sanctions in the U.S. congress and senate.

If 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.

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