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U.S. House Democrats Push Legislation To Cement Russian Sanctions In Place

  • RFE/RL

Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, insisted the measure had bipartisan support. However, there were no Republicans present at a February 15 news conference on the House bill. (file photo)

WASHINGTON -- U.S. House Democrats are pushing forward with legislation to make sure Congress can block any effort President Donald Trump's administration might make to lift sanctions on Russia.

The House legislation, introduced on February 15, mirrors a measure put forth a week earlier by Republican and Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

The Russia Sanctions Review Act would make it harder for the White House to lift the asset freezes, visa bans, and other measures imposed during Barack Obama's presidency.

Those sanctions are aimed at punishing and pressuring Russia for its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014 and the Kremlin's support for pro-Russia separatists who are battling Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Trump has signaled he wants better ties with Moscow.

Revelations about conversations in 2016 between Trump's aides and Russian officials have fueled concern in Congress that Trump may try to lift the sanctions.

Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, insisted the measure had bipartisan support. However, there were no Republicans present at a February 15 news conference on the House bill.

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