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WASHINGTON — Legislation that would hit Russian Federation with economic sanctions and limit President Donald Trump's authority to lift the penalties faces an uncertain future in the House. But he declined to say how and when the House should proceed and he didn't express concern over potential alterations. He said "they are hurting not only us but also the countries that adopted them".

Despite allegations by the United States intelligence community that Moscow played a role in the presidential vote last November, Trump has supported improving relations with America's former Cold War foe.

Any substantive changes to the bill would have to be squared with the Senate's version. But more intangible factors, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent comments on the Iranian regime, could do harm to the agreement's durability. An overly aggressive sanctions bill, Tillerson suggested, could lead Moscow to shut off potentially promising talks with Washington.

The second point, aimed at cybersecurity and cyber-espionage, is considered particularly odd, in view of not only the investigations surrounding President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign but also the conclusion reached by the US intelligence community that Russian Federation had, in fact, intentionally interfered in last year's presidential election in order to help Trump's candidacy. The bill would require a congressional review if Trump attempts to ease or end penalties against Moscow.

European Union foreign ministers said in a statement Monday that the 28-nation bloc "remains committed to fully implement its non-recognition policy" of Russia's seizure of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

CRIEEA would also effectively codify into law various Executive Orders issued by the Obama administration in order to impose sanctions against various Russian government officials and business entities involved in Russia's occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, certain sectors of the Russian economy (such as Russia's financial and oil production sectors) and government officials, agencies and other parties involved with the Russian government's malicious cyber activities.

The Obama administration struck back at Moscow in late December with a series of penalties aimed at Russia's leading spy agencies, the GRU and FSB, that the USA said were involved.


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