Graham takes action against granting sanction relief to Russian Federation

Anxious about President Donald Trump's continued praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Sen.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Wednesday to allow Congress the power to reject sanctions relief for Russian Federation if ordered by President Donald Trump's administration.

"The reason for the Russia Review Act is that we've heard the president speak several times about potentially reducing or eliminating sanctions", Cardin told reporters on February 8. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined McCain in introducing the legislation. "Any decision to roll over on sanctions needs to meet a high bar in Congress". Lindsey Graham of SC and Democratic Sen.

The act would require the Trump Administration to notify Congress in advance of sanctions relief for any individuals engaged in "significant malicious cyber-enabled activities" or "contributing to the situation in Ukraine". "Sanctions relief must be earned, not given".

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Bipartisan concerns about Trump's plans for the future of sanctions on Russian Federation certainly weren't alleviated when he announced Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, as his pick for secretary of state.

Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen.

Graham and Cardin's legislation follows a month of increased Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and the highly-publicized suspicious hospitalization of Russian political dissident, Vladimir Kara-Murza, last week. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula after Ukraine's pro-Russian government was overthrown.

"Lifting sanctions now would only reward Russia's attempts to undermine democracy", Brown added.

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After the sanctions were announced in December, Graham - along with McCain - said they were supportive but didn't think they went far enough.

"Congress must have oversight of any decision that would impact our ability to hold Russia accountable for its flagrant violation of worldwide law and attack our institutions", added McCain, who has repeatedly been accused by officials in Moscow of baselessly stirring up anti-Russian sentiment in Washington.

It is uncertain when votes over the bills could take place and if Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will schedule a vote in his committee.

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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