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Trump Says Would Only Lift Russian Sanctions If Reached Deals In Ukraine, Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak at their first meeting in Germany last week.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not roll back sanctions on Russia unless Moscow agrees to negotiated peace deals between warring parties in Ukraine and Syria.

"I would never take the sanctions off until something is worked out to our satisfaction and everybody's satisfaction in Syria and Ukraine," Trump told reporters on July 13 aboard Air Force One on the way to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"I've made great deals.That's what I do. Why would I take sanctions off without getting anything?" he asked, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not raise the issue of sanctions in their meeting last week in Germany.

Trump's sanctions comments were initially made off-the-record and later published by the White House.

Trump has repeatedly pledged to abide by the sanctions imposed on Russia over its aggression in Ukraine by his predecessor Barack Obama since a bill passed the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly last month to cement those sanctions into law and enable Congress to block Trump from easing them.

The White House opposes the bill's congressional override provision, which is says impinges on the president's constitutional duty to carry out foreign policy, and is seeking changes to the legislation in the House.

Based on reporting by dpa and TASS