USA should prepare new anti-Russian sanctions before Putin's visit to Washington

Trump & Putin

Trump & Putin

The U.S. director of national intelligence would be required to conclude if any foreign nations interfered in elections one month after Americans cast their votes, triggering strict sanctions within 10 days if interference was detected.

Under pressure from Congress, which previous year passed a tough sanctions law targeting Russia, the US Treasury in April imposed sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs for election meddling and "malign" activities.

"It would hit the Russians really hard", she told Bangor radio station WVOM on Wednesday.

"That's pretty tough", Democratic Senator Chris Coons said in a hallway interview late last week with Reuters.

Republican U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (L) and Lindsey Graham are seen in this combination photo from U.S. Senate hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. on March 14, 2018 and on June 18, 2018 respectively.

Putin's proposal that on America's formal request based on an existing agreement Russia would be willing to question the 12 Russian military intelligence officials accused of hacking, in the presence of Mueller's team if desired, and report back, if on a reciprocal basis the United States allowed Russia to question those in the U.S. who have politically interfered in Russian affairs. "This legislation will help to secure our elections, the cornerstone of our democracy, by swiftly imposing harsh sanctions" if Russian Federation again attempts "to influence or undermine faith in our electoral process".

"It's July", she said.

The bill said that if the Kremlin tries to interfere with a federal election again, a mandatory set of severe sanctions would be imposed.

U.S. businesses could face an uphill battle, however, if they aim to block or defang the legislation. It would also slap new restrictions on key economic sectors such as finance, energy, defense, and metals and mining.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to be questioned Wednesday during testimony on the US response as well as Trump's meeting with Putin.

"Obviously these proposals are tied with the internal political strife that has become more intense after the Helsinki summit and they are seeking, in part, to contain President Donald Trump's activity", Slutsky, who is Chair of the State Duma's Committee for International Relations, added.

Russian Federation wouldn't be the only country watched for potential meddling.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had said the follow-up meeting was meant to continue "an ongoing working level dialogue between the two security council staffs". The bill requires the administration to come up with a plan to prevent interference from them and others. It has ordered $15 billion of weapons from the US over the past ten years and USA companies are bidding for contracts for fighter planes and helicopters worth billions of dollars.

Trump later attempted to clarify his remarks by saying he misspoke a single word.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and who co-sponsored a resolution last week condemning Russian Federation for interfering in the 2016 election, said he hoped any future meeting would be moved outside the United States.

Collins said she is sure there will be a hearing on it soon.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans, separately proclaimed that Putin would not be welcome in the U.S. Capitol if he accepted Trump's invitation to visit Washington this autumn.

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