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US Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Russia Sanctions

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Following 97-2 vote, lawmaker says bill would establish 'very powerful new sanctions’

The Senate on Wednesday approved by a wide margin new economic sanctions on Russia, and make it harder for President Donald Trump to potentially lift them.

Following the 97-2 vote, Sen. Mike Crapo, who introduced the measure, said it "will result in very powerful new sanctions against Russia".

In a statement earlier this week, Crapo said the amendment seeks to apply additional economic penalties on Russia "in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria".

It establishes a method that provides Congress with a mechanism to vote before any Russia-related sanctions are lifted, the statement added.

The underlying Iran sanctions bill that Crapo's amendment was attached to may be passed as soon as this week in the chamber.

Sen. Bob Corker said ahead of Wednesday's procedural vote that the overall bill "is a good example of how the Senate can still work together to tackle complex and difficult issues.

"I am really proud of the strong bipartisan momentum behind this legislation," he said.

Support for additional economic penalties has been building after U.S. intelligence officials said Russia directly attempted to interfere in last year's race for the White House, saying the "influence campaign" is supported by top Russian leadership, namely, President Vladimir Putin.

US Senate overwhelmingly approves Russia sanctions

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