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Russian lawmaker slams US bill on sanctions against Syria’s allies as destructive

May 18, 2017, 13:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The bill passed by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday, which seeks to impose sanctions on supporters of the Syrian government, is destructive as far as resolving the Syrian crisis goes, said Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs.

"The bill actually aims to make the US president impose sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, which will further complicate the situation in Syria and hamper the fight against international terrorism on its territory. This is a destructive bill as far as resolving the Syrian crisis goes," Slutsky told reporters on Thursday.

"While Russia, Iran and Turkey have been making painstaking efforts to set up safety zones in Syria and calling on the United States to join this work, US congressmen do not seem willing to help - on the contrary, they have been actually carrying out acts of sabotage," Slutsky added. "It (the bill) once again points to the rift in the US political circles as US President Donald Trump has been emphasizing the need to fight terrorism in Syria instead of fighting Assad, but those who still pursue the course outlined by the previous administration, continue efforts to overthrow Assad at all costs," the Russian lawmaker concluded.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill which stipulates that the country’s president should impose sanctions against supporters of the Syrian government. According to the bill, sanctions should be introduced 30 days after the document comes into force.

The US president will have to blacklist those foreign citizens who, in his view, provide significant financial and technology support to the Syrian authorities making it possible for them to get access to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, create ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as purchase other kinds of weapons. Besides, the US president will have to impose sanctions against those foreign citizens who provide defense services and military information to Damascus.

The bill does not mention Russia as a supporter of the Assad government, however, the authors of the bill named Moscow one of the main allies of the Syrian authorities.

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