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Iran Press TV

Pence: Russia's behavior 'not acceptable'

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 3, 2017 9:24AM

US President Donald Trump's signing of the recent anti-Russia sanctions bill shows that Washington does not accept Moscow's "destabilizing behaviors."

On Wednesday, Trump signed into law a piece of legislation by Congress that imposes new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The bill conspicuously limits Trump's ability to waive the penalties, a sign of mistrust by the Republican controlled Congress which remains concerned by Trump's friendly words for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"President Trump believes that whatever frustration that we feel for Congress limiting his authority to conduct foreign affairs that unbalance this legislation reaffirmed the president's strong commitment to ongoing sanctions with Russia, to make it clear that their destabilizing behaviors are not acceptable to the United States," Pence said in an interview on Fox News in Montenegro, during his ongoing tour Eastern Europe.

The bill imposes tough additional sanctions on Russia over Moscow's alleged meddling in last year's US presidential election and Crimea's reunification with Russia in 2014.

The new bans target the Russian energy sector, allowing the US to sanction companies involved in developing Russian oil pipelines, and placing restrictions on some Russian arms exporters.

Trump's reluctance to sign the bill was clearly evident in a signing statement, in which he called the legislation "significantly flawed" with "unconstitutional provisions."

"By limiting the executive's flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together," new Republican president said, noting that he only signed the bill for the sake of "national unity."

The FBI and a number of congressional committees have been running an investigation into Trump's possible "collusion" with Russia during the presidential campaign, a claim that Russia has repeatedly rejected.

In anticipation of Trump's signing of the bill, the Russian foreign ministry announced last week that Moscow had urged Washington to cut its diplomatic staff in to 455. This means hat over 755 US diplomats must leave the country.

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