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Trump Reluctantly Signs Sanctions against Russia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The White House. (Reuters)

Washington – US President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law the new sanctions approved by the Congress against Russia, but traces of hesitations were reflected in his statements when he said the law is “significantly flawed.”

Later, Russia condemned the US move and described it as “a dangerous US policy.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the sanctions equal to a “full-scale trade war,” adding that “the hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished.”

After signing the sanctions into law on Wednesday, the US president said that in the legislation, Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions.

“Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power,” he said.

Trump added: “The bill remains seriously flawed, particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”

The new “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which passes new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia, mainly targets the Russian energy sector as it grants Washington the power to punish any individual or company that participates in the development of Russian energy export pipelines, in addition to imposing restrictions on the exporters of Russians weapons.

Trump had received the Congress bill last Friday but waited until Wednesday to sign it into force. The delay in signing the bill drove several observers to speculate that the US president opposes it or is trying to postpone the new Act, after the Senate approved it by a vote of 98 to 2 on July 27.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confessed for the first time that Trump had reluctantly signed the bill against Russia.

“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I were very happy about that,” he said.