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New sanctions will return US-Russia ties to old ire

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Significance

The White House has indicated that President Donald Trump will sign the legislation authorising the new measures, despite the fact it limits presidential discretion to waive the sanctions as an instrument of US foreign policy. Congress overwhelmingly voted in favour of the bill, which expands sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Impacts

  • Mulled US plans to provide arms to Ukraine would spur a more hostile line from Moscow towards Trump if carried out.
  • There are few voices in Washington advocating an activist approach to European firms’ minor dealings with Russia.
  • The bill’s focus on past grievances, rather than clear changes in behaviour sought, will hinder its effectiveness as a policy tool.
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