The United States will be making a “big mistake” if the proposed expansion of US sanctions against Russia becomes binding under law, Alexis Rodzianko, President and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) told Sputnik on Tuesday.
On June 14, The US Senate approved, by an overwhelming majority, a bill that would expand sanctions on Russia over its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election. The bill has not yet been signed by US President Donald Trump.
“If there will be a binding character, then this, from the point of view of our chamber, is a big mistake, first of all, for the United States itself,” Rodzianko said.
The AmCham president stressed that if the document was of an advisory nature, then all possibilities for developing relations with Russia would be in the hands of the US president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“The fact that relations with Russia are bad does not make them less important, we need flexibility, the ability to react quickly and in a timely manner, not 20 years after a problem is gone,” Rodzianko noted.
The measure, passed in a 98-2 vote, offered additional punitive measures against Russia’s defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restricted dealings with the country’s banks and energy companies. Moreover, it prevents the US president from unilaterally lifting the sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Russia has repeatedly denied allegations of influencing the US election, stressing that it did not seek to interfere in other countries’ affairs.