Will new U.S. sanctions on Russia be postponed?

Will new U.S. sanctions on Russia be postponed?

U.S. Congress is unlikely to pass legislation imposing new anti-Russia sanctions before the end of this year.

"We don’t have very much time," Republican John Cornyn of Texas said. "It’s going to be a real race, unless everyone wants to stay here for Christmas,"Bloomberg cited him as saying. 

New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez shared the opinion that there was no time left for the new legislation to be approved. "The clock is running out on us… We don’t have an administration that’s actually embracing it," Menendez said.

Commenting on the expectations from the new wave of anti-Russian sanctions, which Washington may impose in November, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that they will further complicate the situation with Moscow-Washington relations.

"It’s difficult to say about the nature of these sanctions. Will they further complicate the situation with Russian-US relations? The answer is unequivocal: certainly, they will," TASS cited the spokesman as saying.

He stressed that hardly anyone will make a forecast on the new wave of US sanctions now given that "our US vis-a-vis are unpredictable.

"The fact that America has recently become unpredictable is not a secret for anyone, everyone is talking about this absolutely openly because this unpredictability of such a major country and a powerful global economy is certainly an issue for deep concerns of everyone," Peskov said.

The U.S. has recently held midterm elections to fill 435 seats in the House Representatives and just over one-third of the 100-member Senate in addition to other state and local offices. Lawmakers have short time to pass any bill as Congress enters the "lame duck" period before newly elected officials take office in January.

On August 2, a group of US senators led by Lindsey Graham introduced an extensive sanctions bill against Russia in response to its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as "malign influence in Syria, aggression in Crimea." Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported that the senators aimed to block dollar-denominated transactions by Russian banks and US nationals’ operations with the country’s sovereign debt.

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