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On July 22, Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress agreed on a bill regarding new sanctions against Russia, which also apply to Iran and North Korea.
These restrictive measures became a response to Russian interference in the US election campaign. As the media note, new sanctions against Moscow have been included in the bill on Iran to speed up the process of their adoption. The voting itself will be held today, on July 25, after which the document will wait for the signature of US President Donald Trump.
The US Senate approved the document back in June. It was introduced to the lower house of the US Congress on July 12 and was recently unveiled.
The bill contains 138 pages. The document, in particular, envisages fixing at the legislative level of sanctions imposed by Barack Obama against the Russian Federation in response to the situation in the East of Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea, cyberattacks, interference in the presidential elections, oppression of American diplomats in Russia, human rights violations.
The bill restricts the right of the US president to mitigate or remove sanctions from Russia. Trump will need to prepare a report on the reasons for lifting the sanction and get Congress approval.
"The president must submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees and management describing the alleged actions and reasons for these actions," the document says.
At the same time, the document contains a clause regarding the possibility of lifting personal sanctions, if there are good reasons for this.
It is proposed to reduce the maximum period of market financing of Russian banks to 14 days, and the same period for subordination companies of the oil and gas sector - up to 30 days. In addition, Trump can impose sanctions on individuals if they intend to sell, lease or provide Russia with goods, services or technology for the construction of export pipelines, the market value of which is $ 1 million or if their total cost per year is $ 5 million or more .
Another rather tough measure is the sanctions for investing in the privatization of Russian assets worth at least $ 10 million if it gives an unfair advantage to Russian officials or their close associates, or members of their families.
The paragraph "Ukrainian Energy Security" states that the US will continue to resist the construction of the NordStream-2 gas pipeline because of its negative impact on the EU energy security, development of the gas market in Central and Eastern Europe and energy reforms in Ukraine.
However, this proposal already received the reaction of the EU. As the Financial Times has found out, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker called for an urgent consideration of the question of how Brussels should react if European companies are affected by US anti-Russian sanctions.
The publication notes that an attempt to veto the bill will face strong opposition in Congress, since the investigation into Russian interference in the elections and the contacts of Trump's headquarters with Moscow has not yet been closed.
The White House states that Trump will support the latest version of the bill on new sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile the Kremlin assesses the document as "extremely negative".
In a joint statement, the leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy and the chairman of the International Affairs Committee Ed Royce said: "North Korea, Iran and Russia are threatening their neighbors in various ways and are actively trying to undermine US interests. The bill, which the House of Representatives will put to vote on the next week, is aimed at bringing them to justice for their dangerous actions. "
The American media note that, probably, on Tuesday the overwhelming majority of congressmen will support this bill.