A U.S. Congressman, Republican Charlie Dent, has announced that he is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill, the Russia Sanctions Review Act, which would require Congress to approve of any effort made by the Trump administration to remove the sanctions currently imposed on Russia.
If passed, the legislation (which mirrors a bill introduced into the U.S. Senate in January) would ‘require the President to submit a report to Congress describing any proposed changes to sanctions prior to taking any action to waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation. The report would require a certification that the Government of Russia has ceased activities in Ukraine as well as cyberattacks against the USG and US persons.’
The lawmakers’ efforts come against a backdrop which includes an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian cyberattacks against the United States – and the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, following revelations that he may have discussed the removal of sanctions against Russia with Russian ambassador the United States Sergey Kislyak prior to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.
In a statement, Dent said that Vladimir Putin’s ‘aggressive actions in Ukraine and the repeated cyberattacks that Russia has carried out against U.S. government entities and individuals constitute a real threat to the democratic ideals that have long been held by the United States and our allies.’
He added that Russia ‘must earn sanctions relief through clear and definitive actions such as ceasing their occupation of Crimea, their aggression in Ukraine, and their malevolent activities directed at our government and our nation’s election system. Until that time arrives, we must remain vigilant in our commitment to upholding the rule of law through any means necessary, including targeted sanctions.’