The US Senate decisively approves a bipartisan sanctions bill against Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election that yielded President Donald Trump.
Lawmakers at the Republican-controlled Senate voted 97-2 on Wednesday to pass the legislation.
The move came as an investigation was underway into the pro-Kremlin president’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign and transition.
Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, attacked Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the vote, claiming that his “brazen attack on our democracy is a flagrant demonstration of his disdain and disrespect for our nation.”
“But in the last eight months, what price has Russia paid for attacking American democracy?” McCain complained.
Since he started running for president, candidate Trump has been a staunch supporter of improving relations with the United States
’ former Cold War foe.
US President Donald Trump and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) arrive for a workforce development roundtable discussion at Waukesha County Technical College during a visit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The intelligence community, however, has concluded that Russia played a role in the presidential election held last November.
In order to prevent Trump from opposing the measure, lawmakers have attached it to a bill intended to impose pressure on Iran, a move favorable to Trump.
Therefore, in order to pressure Tehran, the president will also have to acquiesce to the anti-Russia measure.
Both the president and Russia have denied allegations of collusion and meddling.