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Tillerson To Testify Before House Panel Ahead Of Russia Sanctions Vote

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., on June 13.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to testify before a House panel on June 14, as Congress moves closer to cementing existing sanctions against Moscow and imposing new ones.

Tillerson is to appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT/UTC) for a hearing on the State Department's new 2018 budget.

It comes ahead of a Senate vote on the sanctions related to Russia's alleged interference in last year's election and other issues. The vote is expected before the end of the week.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on June 13, Tillerson said ties between Washington and Moscow were continuing to deteriorate and that the U.S. administration was still trying to stabilize the relationship.

Asked whether he would support the new sanctions, or if the White House might try to veto it, Tillerson said, "We would like the flexibility to turn the heat up on Russia."

"We have some channels where we're starting to talk, but what I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off," he added.

The Kremlin has signaled it might take retaliatory measures if the new sanctions are put into place.

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