Top Democrats in the US House of Representatives have introduced a version of the bill on Russia and Iran sanctions that is identical to the one passed by the US Senate last month, the Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee said in a press release on Thursday.
The bill, which censures Iran over its ballistic missile program, also slaps new sanctions on Russia over Moscow’s alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016.
The legislation targets Russia’s defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restricts dealings with Russian banks and energy companies. It also limits the US president’s ability to ease any sanctions on Russia by requiring Congress’ approval to lift any restrictions.
The US Senate passed the sanctions package on June 15 with a 98-2 vote, but the legislation was flagged by the House as a “blue slip” violation.
“Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer today introduced a House version of the Russia-Iran sanctions bill (H.R. 3203) that passed 98-2 in the Senate last month,” the release stated.
The bill, which is yet to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the administration of US President Donald Trump, has already prompted criticism within the European Union. Thus, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern have condemned the draft of new US sanctions, which, they said on June 15, were about “selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market.”
Russian officials have repeatedly denied allegations that Moscow meddled in the US election.