Russian Federation seizes U.S. property in Moscow in retaliation to fresh sanctions

Reuters

But with the passage of fresh #Sanctions Against Russia and it being equated with Iran and North Korea, the Russians have reacted.

This is coming as lawmakers investigate possible meddling by Russian Federation in the last presidential election and potential collusion by Republican Trump's campaign.

The move comes after Russia has repeatedly expressed anger at Washington barring its diplomats access to two compounds in the United States in December past year, under Barack Obama, in response to suspected Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

"He is in a lose-lose situation here", Beebe said. Trump has repeatedly said he wants better relations with Moscow and, according to his communications director Anthony Scaramucci, still doubts Moscow's involvement in the election campaign.

Trump has privately expressed frustration over Congress' ability to limit or override the power of the White House on national security matters, saying that it is complicating efforts to coordinate with allies - particularly those in Europe that have taken a different approach to sanctions. "There's no rationale, no excuse for a veto", Miller said.

New U.S. sanctions were in part a response to conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and to further punish Russian Federation for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"We are offering to the U.S. side to bring the numbers of USA diplomatic and technical staff working in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, in general consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to reflect the exact number of Russian diplomats and technical staff who are in the United States".

The Russian government also seized two American facilities - a recreational country house outside Moscow and a storage facility in the Russian capital.

She says the president has "reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it".

The White House has given mixed signals on whether Trump will or won't sign the legislation. They target Russia's mining and oil industry.

"There is a bipartisan consensus to confront Russian Federation across the board - from its actions in Ukraine, Syria, cyber, its election meddling - you name it", said Boris Zilberman, a Russian Federation sanctions expert with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The legislation needs to be passed through the Senate before it can be sent on to the President to be signed.

The Senate, like the House, is expected to pass the legislation by a veto-proof margin.

"I think this retaliation is long, long overdue", Ryabkov said Sunday. "The President has every right to veto it, but it isn't going to change the votes".

Representative Eliot L. Engel of NY, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, called the bill "a strong, direct response to Vladimir Putin's efforts to undermine American democracy". The Senate passed the proposed sanctions, but it now falls to Trump for putting the sanctions in place with his signature.

Mr McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who has called Mr Putin a murderer and a thug, said: "Over the last eight months what price has Russian Federation paid for attacking our elections?" "He has to show Russian Federation can't be pushed around by the United States". "We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal", he said. Arms control agreements and confidence building measures between the two militaries have atrophied, said Beebe.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday evening that Minister Lavrov told Secretary Tillerson in a phone call earlier that day that Russia's decision was "triggered by a number of hostile steps" the United States has recently taken. Its response suggests it has set aside initial hopes of better ties with Washington under Trump, something the United States leader, before he was elected, had said he wanted to achieve.

Russian Federation could actively work against U.S. interests worldwide, Beebe suggested. House and Senate committees and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

One thing is clear, Beebe said.

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