The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has described the bill recently signed by the United States President to place more sanctions on Russia as an “economic war”, while Iran stated that it “violated” the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Reacting to the development, Medvedev, according to AF Press, fumed on his Facebook, stating that the move “ends hopes for improving our relations with the new US administration. It is a declaration of a full-fledged economic war on Russia,” Medvedev wrote.
The Prime Minister maintained that the signing of the bill clearly shows how weak and unpopular Trumps administration is, adding that Trump lack the capacity to withstand parliamentary pressure and tact on the use of his executive fiat. “The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way” Medvedev stated.
Recall that the US president Donald Trump reluctantly endorsed the latest bill which prescribed more sanctions to Russia for the role they played during the last Presidential election in the United State, a role that culminated to the emergence of Donald Trump as US President.
The bill primarily seek to penalize the Kremlin for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Trump had described the bill as “significantly flawed” but reluctantly appended his signature when all attempts made to water down the bill met the brick wall as the congress had threatened to veto it if he withholds assent.
The US President, recanting the process of the passage of the Bill at the Senate, stated that “In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions, ” including curbs on the president’s ability to “negotiate” with Russia.
As president, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress,Trump claimed.
The newly signed bill also contained some legislation against North Korea and Iran, targets the Russian energy sector and gives Washington the powers to impose sanctions on companies involved in developing Russian pipelines as well as blockade on some Russian weapons exporters.
The bill constrains Trump’s ability to waive penalties on a statement of mistrust from the Republican controlled Congress.
Meanwhile, Igor Sechin, the head of Russia’s largest oil firm Rosneft, which has been targeted by earlier US sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis has promised that the company would try to avoid more pain emanating from the new bill.
We will seek to work in such a way as to minimize the impact of the sanctions,” Sechin told Russian news agencies, adding that the sanctions had “started backfiring” to damage American interests.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he will meet with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the weekend, but warned that US-Russia ties could still get worse.
Tillerson said the US Congress’s decision to pass the sanctions bill had made attempts to thaw ties “more difficult.”
The US foreign ministry in Moscow said the sanctions against Russia had put global stability at risk, calling them a “dangerous” and “short-sighted” policy. “We have already shown that we are not going to leave hostile acts unanswered… and we obviously reserve the right to take retaliatory measures,” it said.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has reacted angrily, saying that the new sanctions “violated” its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, and warned it would respond “appropriately.”
Washington has already slammed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine since 2014, and in December 2015, former President Barack Obama sanctioned 35 Russian diplomats due to accusations of election interference.
Trump, who has been humbled by the bill said he would “honour” some of the new bill’s provisions, but could not guarantee that it would be fully implemented.
A source from The White House said the overtures from Trump to water down some aspects of the bill failed to attract members of his party, leaving him with no option than to append his signature to respect Congresses “preferences” after “careful and respectful consideration.
I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States,” Trump said.
Trump had received the legislation at 1:53 pm on Friday, but waited until Wednesday to sign it. The delay had raised speculation that Trump might veto or try to somehow shelve the sanctions, which were approved in a 98-2 Senate vote. By signing it, he avoided the humiliating prospect of Congress overriding his veto.
In anticipation of the new bill, Moscow had ordered Washington to reduce its diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 people before September 1 — bringing it in line with the size of Russia’s mission in the United States leading to a slash of the number of staff at its diplomatic mission in Russia by 755 personnel.