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US President signs Russia sanctions bill 

Published time:  August 04, 2017    18:59    GMT + 3

In a continuation of the recent diplomatic retaliation situation between Moscow and Washington, over US sanctions, a Russian state news agency has reported that the US president has signed a bill that will enforce sanctions against Russia. 

 

According to Russian state news agency TASS the US president Donald Trump has recently signed a bill that enforces a new set of sanctions against Russia. The bill had already been passed by the US Senate,  and for legal effect waited  on the US president's signature.  


This has now been signed by US president Donald Trump. 

 

Timeline

A timeline of events that has seen an increasingly retaliatory situation develop between Moscow and Washington can be described as follows:

On July 27, the US Senate passed a bill that if implemented, would impose and toughen unilateral sanctions on Russia, and also on Iran and North Korea.

 

On July 28, the Russian foreign ministry suggested that by Sept 1, the USA government reduce the numbers of its diplomatic and technical staff at the Moscow US embassy and other consulates (St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok) to the number of the Russian embassy staff allowed to work in the USA.  

 

'This means that the total number of American diplomatic and consular office employees in the Russian Federation must be reduced to 455 people.' said a Russian foreign ministry statement (Russian Foreign Ministry, July 28, 2017, mid.ru)  

 

The Russian foreign ministry said that Moscow had acted responsibly, adding:
'However, the latest events confirm that certain circles in the US are fixated on Russophobia and open confrontation with our country.' 

 

Russia also suspended on August 1, rights of USA embassy staff to use a country house located northwest of Moscow, and a Moscow storage facility. 

 

Russian foreign ministry statement on July 28

The Russian foreign ministry (statement) says that the US has continued to take measures that violate the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations and other diplomatic practice, referring to the confiscating of Russian diplomatic property, deporting Russian diplomats from the USA, and sanctions. 

(source: mid.ru


In addition to that, said the Foreign Ministry,  the new legislation sets  ' ...a goal to create a dishonest competitive advantage for the US in the global economy through the use of political means. '


It referred to the situation as blackmail. 


'This blackmail aimed at restricting Russia’s cooperation with its foreign partners threatens many countries and international businesses.' said the Russian foreign ministry.

 

Interview on Rossiya-1 television with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabko

There has, in the recent week, been considerable debate on what the proposed USA actions mean for Russia, or could lead to, and if the US president would sign the bill.   


Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on July 28, in an interview to Rossiya-1 television channel, in commenting on the Russian foreign ministry  decisions regarding the US embassy staff made by Russia, said that:   


"Regrettably, our calls, our patience, our readiness to demonstrate good will, not to yield to emotions are finite. We were forced to take response measures," Ryabkov said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel. "These are not sanctions but Russia’s response measure to even the balance." 


"If the United States, in its anti-Russian frenzy, tries to do anything else to harm us, a tit-for-tat reaction will follow. It is a negative spiral," he said. 


He further said, also, that Russia has 455 diplomatic and technical employees on long term asssignment in all Russian missions in the US. He said Russia wishes to restore parity.  


"What matters for us is that we could state (and we have relevant instruments to check it) that the US has not more than 455 employees at its missions in Russia from September 1." he said (TASS)  

 

US President, Russia

Despite the signing of the sanctions bill in the last few days, the US president has been reported as indicating, according to TASS,  that he nevertheless has hope for co operation with Russia. The bill (sanctions bill) is called: Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
 

 

 - by Katrina Wood

 

Sources of information:  TASS,   mid.ru (Russian Foreign Ministry)

Timeline:

July 27: US congress passes bill that would apply a new set of sanctions against Russia
July 28: Russia replies, and Russian foreign ministry statement (mid.ru) requests reduction in US embassy staff to parity with Russia embassy staff in USA. 
Aug 1: Further diplomatic measures taken by Russia in retaliation against US actions
Aug 3: US president Donald Trump signs sanctions bill