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Published: Wed, January 11, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United States senators seek sanctions against Russian officials


A top U.S. Senate Republican says he will join with Democrats in pushing for "comprehensive" sanctions on Russian Federation because of its alleged attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

McCain, who has called Russia's alleged hacking of the election "an unprecedented attack on our democracy", last month visited Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.

The authors of the initiative proposed to adopt the law about the protection of U.S. democracy that would make it possible to establish an independent commission consisting of representatives of two major parties. A House of Representatives aide said Russian Federation sanctions legislation also was being prepared in that chamber.

The Republican leadership in the House and Senate have both talked up the idea of Congressional investigations into the hacking allegations, and those are likely to remain their main focus, with such a commission risking to derail Congressional inquiries.

Senators from both parties have raised questions about the decades Mr Tillerson spent working with Russia's government as an executive at the oil company, and his ties to Mr Putin.

It would impose sanctions on those who engage with the Russian defense or intelligence sectors, which could affect global companies doing business with Russia.

Politico reports that the bill is meant to send a message that key Republicans want to punish Moscow for its behavior, despite Trump's attempt to downplay Russia's interference in the presidential election.

USA lawmakers have long called for a tougher response to Russian annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and intervention in the Syrian civil war on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A group of United States senators led by John McCain work on a draft document about new sanctions against Russian Federation. Among other things, it would mandate sanctions on investments of $20 million or more in Russia's ability to develop its petroleum and natural gas resources.

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