World

Overwhelming vote for new sanctions on Russia puts Trump in corner

WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted almost unanimously on Thursday to slap new sanctions on Russia, putting US President Donald Trump in a tough position by forcing him to take a hard line on Moscow or veto the legislation and infuriate his own Republican Party.

The Senate backed the bill, which also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea, by a margin of 98-2.

The bill, which includes a provision that allows Congress to stop any effort by Mr Trump to ease existing sanctions on Russia, will now be sent to the White House for him to sign into law or veto.

It is the first major foreign policy legislation approved by Congress under Mr Trump, who has struggled to advance his domestic agenda despite Republicans controlling the Senate and House of Representatives.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, has denied that his country interfered with the US election last year. Yesterday, Moscow in retaliation ordered the US to reduce its diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 diplomats and staff, from about 1,100. - WIRE SERVICES

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