Donald Trump to sign legislation slapping punitive sanctions on Russia

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a rally, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Vastavam web: US President Donald Trump plans to sign legislation slapping punitive sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea that the Congress approved this week, the White House has said.The legislation bars Trump from easing or waiving the penalties on Russia unless Congress agrees.The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House of Representatives pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto-proof numbers.

“President Donald J Trump read early drafts of the bill and negotiated regarding critical elements of it,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a late-night statement.”He has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it,” Sander said without giving a time frame when it would be signed into law.The legislation, could put strain on Trump’s ability to improve ties with Russia, which he has vocally pursued, but has been restrained by the allegations that his associates had contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign.

Trump has denied any collusion between his associates and Moscow and termed the Russian investigation “a witch hunt”.Before President Barack Obama left office, he ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and expelled 35 of its diplomats in response to alleged election interference, a claim that Moscow has consistently denied.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hoped that there will be no need for these sanctions on Russia.”We hope that there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues and these sanctions will no longer be necessary,” Tillerson said in a statement.