Putin: New sanctions will 'complicate' Russia-US ties

"Since the State Department actively interacts with the lawmakers, the White House is confident that it has allies in the House of Representatives, who are also concerned about the prospect of breaking the tradition and limiting the control of the executive power over the sanctions", Politico writes.

In a move that could complicate US President Donald Trump's desire for warmer relations with Moscow, the Senate backed the measure by 98-2.

The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile programme and other activities not related to the global nuclear agreement reached with the USA and other world powers.

The threat of a new wave of sanctions emerged this month as USA policymakers backed the idea of punishing Russian Federation for alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for supporting Syria's government in the six-year-long civil war.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously for legislation to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation and force President Donald Trump to get Congress' approval before easing any existing sanctions. It also creates a congressional review process if the executive branch eases current sanctions. In a series of tweets, Kerry urged lawmakers to "tread carefully" in pushing ahead with new Iran sanctions in the wake of President Hassan Rouhani's re-election to another four-year term.

"We must take a stronger stance in deterring Iran and holding its regime accountable for its actions and addressing Russia's years-long pattern of provocations", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, in a statement.

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The Conservatives , who have 317 MPs, are looking to strike a deal with the DUP , who have 10. The finance ministry declined to comment.

The vote comes after top Republicans held off for months from backing tougher financial penalties in a bid to give the Trump administration space to try to improve the U.S. -Russia relationship, which soured under the Obama administration. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

The sanctions were imposed over Iran's ballistic missile program and "other activities" not related to the global nuclear agreement, including human right abuses, U.S. media report. Germany and Austria said the new punitive measures could expose European companies involved in projects in Russian Federation to fines.

Under the legislation, new Russian Federation sanctions could be levied on entities engaging in "malicious cyber activity".

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

The Senate bill proposes adding restrictions to banks' and energy companies' ability to raise capital, and allows for new sanctions on state-owned entities in the rail, shipping, metals and mining sectors, as well as energy pipelines. This massive project, which would link Russia to Germany while bypassing Ukraine, would double the Russian natural-gas company Gazprom's capacity to move oil directly into Europe and make the Continent even more dependent on Russian resources.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the author of the bill, told reporters he hoped President Donald Trump would "acknowledge" the near-unanimous support among senators for tougher actions against Iran and Russian Federation. Republican Sens. (Ky.) and (Utah) were the only senators to vote against including new Russian Federation penalties in the legislation.

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