Will Trump lift the sanctions in Crimea

Trump signs law on Russia sanctions

US President Donald Trump does not stand in the way of punitive measures for hacker attacks and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

US President Donald Trump signed a law for new sanctions against Russia. This was reported on Wednesday from the White House. Congress had decided on the new punitive measures because of the alleged Russian hacker attacks in the US election campaign and the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

The focus of the measures is the energy sector, whereby companies from third countries would also be affected. This has met with sharp criticism in the EU. Congress passed the bill with an overwhelming majority last week. The MPs also ensured that the President could not lift the sanctions against Russia without the approval of Congress. That was controversial in the White House. In addition to expanding the sanctions against Moscow, the package also provides for further punitive measures against Iran and North Korea.

Criticism of sanctions

Russian foreign politicians have sharply criticized the signing of the new US sanctions law. "The US is not giving a chance to constructive cooperation with Russia," wrote the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, on Facebook on Wednesday. The relationship will be damaged for decades. Since Trump approved the law, he was personally responsible for it, wrote Kosachev.

"This is undoubtedly a new setback for Russian-American relations," said Leonid Sluzki from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Interfax agency. He did not rule out that Russia and the European Union could move closer in opposing the sanctions.

In response to last week's sanctions rulings, Russia's President Vladimir demanded that the US withdraw 755 employees from its diplomatic missions in Russia. Relations between the two states are extremely tense, especially in the war in Syria, which has been going on since 2011, the Ukraine crisis in 2014 and the allegations about Moscow's interference in the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

(APA / AFP / Reuters)