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Montevideo, May 21st 2018 - 22:42 UTC

Russia accuses US of imposing a “full scale trade war”; Trump claims Congress is infringing his powers

Thursday, August 3rd 2017 - 07:32 UTC
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the sanctions tantamount to a “full-scale trade war” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the sanctions tantamount to a “full-scale trade war”

United States president Donald Trump grudgingly signed into law new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, a move Moscow said amounted to a full-scale trade war and an end to hopes for better ties with the Trump administration. Congress overwhelmingly approved the legislation last week, passing a measure that conflict with the Republican president's desire to improve relations with Moscow.

 Trump signed the bill behind closed doors, without the fanfare that has customarily accompanied his signing of executive orders. He criticized the measure as infringing on his powers to shape foreign policy, and said he could make “far better deals” with governments than Congress can.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the sanctions tantamount to a “full-scale trade war,” adding in a Facebook post that they showed the Trump administration had demonstrated “utter powerlessness.”

“The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished,” he wrote.

Trump's litany of concerns about the sanctions, which also affect Iran and North Korea, raised the question of how vigorously Trump will implement them regarding Russia.

“While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed,” Trump said in a message to lawmakers known as a signing statement. He also issued a statement for the press about the bill.

The new law allows Congress, which passed the measure to punish Russia over interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, to halt any effort by Trump to ease sanctions on Russia.

His hands were tied after the Republican-controlled Congress approved the legislation by such a large margin last week that any presidential veto of the bill would have been overridden.

The legislation provoked countermeasures by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said on Sunday that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia must reduce its staff by 755 people. Russia is also seizing two properties near Moscow used by American diplomats.

Trump has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russia. That desire has been stymied by U.S. intelligence agencies' findings that Russia interfered to help the Republican against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

U.S. congressional panels and a special counsel are investigating. Moscow denies any meddling and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign.

In his statements on the sanctions law, Trump complained about what he said was congressional infringement on the president's constitutional power to set foreign policy, saying the law reflected congressional “preferences” rather than a legal mandate.

Top Comments

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  • Brit Bob

    Didn't the Russians seize the Crimea?

    Russia/Ukraine – Crimea (If it ever went to court Russia would lose).
    As successor states to the Soviet Union, both Ukraine and Russia are signatories to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Adopted in Helsinki in 1975, the document sought to promote détente during an era of Cold War geopolitical tensions in Europe.

    For relevant facts (1 page)
    Gibraltar – Helsinki Accord 1975 (1 page)

    In the same respect, Spain's claim to Gibraltar has also been signed away.

    Aug 03rd, 2017 - 08:29 am 0
  • :o))

    REF: “Trump claims Congress is infringing his powers”:

    Is The GREAT Negotiator - Mr. Fix-It ALL - whining now? :o))

    Aug 03rd, 2017 - 11:45 am 0
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