gamesindustryblog.com
gamesindustryblog.com June 24, 2017


Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

20 June 2017, 12:59 | Leonard Manning

The 100-member Senate backed the measure on Thursday by a margin of 98-2.

The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and "continued support for terrorism".

The bill, imposing another round of sanctions on Russian Federation, was passed in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday and is yet to be considered by the House of Representatives.

The U.S. Senate voted to increase sanctions on Russian Federation, and give Congress the power to review any attempt by President Donald Trump to unilaterally lift them, a rebuke of the president's suggestions that the U.S. improve relations with the country.

The bill was now heading toward the House for passage before reaching U.S. President Donald Trump's desk. It would enshrine existing sanctions into law; slap new penalties on Russia's defense, military intelligence, energy and transport sectors; restrict debt dealings with Russian banks and energy companies; and allow Congress to block the president from altering sanctions with a two-thirds majority vote.

"The legislation sends a very, very strong signal to Russian Federation, the nefarious activities they've been involved in", Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said as lawmakers debated the measure.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the USA further sanctions would damage relations, though stopped short of saying how the Russian government would respond in kind.

US oil output hampering market rebalancing: OPEC
Benchmark Brent crude settled 43 cents higher at $48.72 a barrel while USA light crude settled up 38 cents to $46.46 a barrel. Oil inventories are near record highs in some parts of the world, and producers outside the OPEC deal are increasing output.

Previously, U.S. energy sanctions had only targeted Russia's future high-tech energy projects, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic, fracking and offshore drilling.

The source drew attention to the fact, that in this case the Trump administration as a whole stands for the sanctions against Russian Federation.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, says the unanimous vote "should reassure our allies and give notice to our enemies that America stands firmly in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our Article 5 commitment".

The measure would punish individuals who conduct what the senators described as "malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government".

Under President Obama, top White House officials warned that sanctions would be risky to the legitimacy of the nuclear deal signed with Iran.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the sanctions package. They blocked USA companies such as Exxon Mobil, where Tillerson was chairman, from investing in such projects.



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