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MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for International Affairs Leonid Slutsky has called signing by US President Donald Trump of the law extending anti-Russian sanctions a new blow over Russian-US relations.
"Both US Congress chambers have adopted the bill on massive extension of sanctions against Russia, and President Donald Trump signed it. We realize that this was caused by monstrous Russophobian campaign launched in the US under then-Barack Obama administration. ‘The Russian record’ became the main theme for the opponents of Trump who faces a most severe domestic political pressure. His signing of the document was expected, and, still, this is, no doubt, a new blow over Russian-US relations and the possibility itself of their restoration in the immediate future," Slutsky told reporters.
He reiterated that "Russia took retaliatory measures in the diplomatic sphere last Friday," and that it was directly stated that Moscow preserved the right for their extension. "As was said numerous times, the new sanctions aim to restrain not only Russia, but European countries as well and seriously restrict cooperation in the energy sphere. The European Commission already stated that it would consider measures for adequate response to this US law. It is still hard to extrapolate which will be the EU’s reaction, but I hope it will follow eventually," Slutsky added.
He did not rule out that Russia’s further steps "may correspond to the EU’s retaliatory actions." "Europe has swayed to the side of the common sense in the issue of wrongfulness of tightening sanctions pressure, and this factor can, no doubt, unite us now," the committee’s chairman concluded.
US President Donald Trump signed a bill tightening American sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea on Wednesday. A senior White House official confirmed this in a conversation with TASS, asking not to disclose his name and position in media.