Trump's Foreign Policy Is Jeopardized After Senate Approves Sanctions Against Russia

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The ministry said the United States had until September 1 to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people, the number of Russian diplomats left in the United States after Washington expelled 35 Russians in December.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by telephone that Russia was ready to normalise relations with the United States and to cooperate on major global issues.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday evening that Minister Lavrov told Secretary Tillerson in a phone call earlier that day that Russia's decision was "triggered by a number of hostile steps" the US has recently taken.

The sanctions against Moscow are punishment for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Speaking just before the Senate passed the bill, Republican Senator John McCain, a leading congressional voice calling for a firm line against Russian Federation said: "The United States of America needs to send a strong message to Vladimir Putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on our democracy".

"We have received the Russian government notification", a State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

The move was Moscow's way of retaliating one day after the U.S. Senate passed a final sanctions bill that targets Russia, Iran and North Korea, sending it to President Trump's desk.

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The sanctions bill was received by the White House at 1:53 pm (1753 GMT), a USA government source told AFP.

It also said it was barring the USA embassy from using a Moscow summer house and storage facility in the city from Aug 1.

Washington is now pushing for new sanctions in the UN Security Council, while also considering the possibility of secondary sanctions on Chinese entities.

The erosion in ties also may make it more hard for Trump to achieve foreign policy breakthroughs on key issues, including rallying worldwide support against North Korea, pressuring Iran over its ballistic missile program and expanding cease-fire zones in Syria.

However, even if Trump vetoes the bill it could still become law, as it likely has enough support from lawmakers to override a veto. "Ambassador Tefft expressed his strong disappointment and protest". They've also traditionally favored a policy that keeps Moscow in check for its own aggressive measures in Eastern Europe and Syria, as well as its efforts to disrupt elections in the USA and across Europe.

The outgoing Obama administration seized two Russian diplomatic compounds, one in NY and another in Maryland, at the same time as it expelled the Russian diplomats in December.

Russian President Vladimir Putin - who has denied that Russia carried out state-ordered cyber attacks meant to influence the election - had previously threatened retaliation against the new sanctions.

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