Russian Federation orders United States to cut diplomats over new sanctions

CORRECTING SPELLING OF NAME NIINISTO- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto right welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin at Savonlinna Eastern Finland on Thursday

Russia hits back over sanctions, orders US diplomats to leave

The Senate backed the bill, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, by a margin of 98-2 with strong support from Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

Trump's likelihood of supporting the measure is a remarkable concession that the president has yet to sell his party on his hopes for forging a warmer relationship with Moscow.

"It is a great pity that Russian-American relations are being sacrificed to this domestic, internal American issue", Putin said at a news conference in Savonlinna, Finland.

Savonlinna: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia was ready to cooperate with neutral countries that bordered the Baltic Sea like Finland which is not part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance. If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him. Lawmakers say they want to prevent the president from acting on his own to lift penalties imposed by the previous administration for meddling in last year's USA election and for aggression in Ukraine.

It said Russian Federation has done its "utmost" to normalize bilateral relations and develop cooperation with the US on the important issues.

Trump hasn't threatened to reject the bill even though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior administration officials had objected to a mandated congressional review should the president attempt to ease or lift the sanctions on Russian Federation.

"I can not imagine anybody is seriously thinking about vetoing this bill", said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It shows a diminishment of their authority. He's repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that Russian Federation sought to tip the election in his favor. In unison, the National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) concluded in a single report that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election to benefit President Donald Trump.

The bill targets Russia's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, citing corruption, human rights abuses and weapons sales.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit.

The bill, if approved, threatens to further derail U.S.

Calling the proposed sanctions "extremely cynical", Putin said the demarche looked like an attempt by Washington to use its "geopolitical safeguard its economic interests at the expense of its allies". Goods produced by North Korea's forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the bill. The sanctions also apply to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps security force.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the sanctions bill.

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