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US Senators initiate legislation on congressional oversight of anti-Russian sanctions

February 09, 2017, 5:36 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The current anti-Russian sanctions were imposed by executive decrees of former President Barack Obama

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© Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, February 9. /TASS/. A group of US Senators led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Wednesday introduced a bill establishing congressional oversight of any decision on lifting the anti-Russian sanctions obviously seeking to bar President Donald Trump from doing it single-handedly.

"A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced legislation, The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017, which provides for congressional oversight of any decision to provide sanctions relief to the Government of the Russian Federation," the press service of another initiator of the bill, Democrat Senator Ben Cardin, told TASS. Other co-initiators are Republican Senators Marco Rubio and John McCain, and Democrat Senators Claire McCaskill and Sherrod Brown.

"If the US were to provide sanctions relief to Russia without verifiable progress on the Minsk Agreements, we would lose all credibility in the eyes of our allies in Europe and around the world," Cardin said.

He said the Act had been prompted by President Trump’s statements about possible easing or even abandonment of the anti-Russian sanctions. The legislation envisages consultations with the Congress should the president decide to change the sanction policy.

According to the explanatory note, the Act requires the administration to submit to the Congress a list of individuals subject to sanction relief and reassure it that Russia is no longer seeking to allegedly "undermine the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine" and has ceased cyberattacks against the United State Washington is unsubstantially blaming Russia of.

The Congress will have 120 days to consider the initiative.

The current anti-Russian sanctions were imposed by executive decrees of former President Barack Obama and were not formalized in legislation. Hence, Trump can cancel them any time. The White House was unavailable for comment.

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