"Because more than 1000 workers - diplomats and support staff - were working and are still working in Russia, 755 must stop their activity in the Russian Federation", he said. In the end, it was passed by both chambers overwhelmingly. And he's blasted as a "witch hunt" investigations into the extent of Russia's interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Congress wants to avoid it [i.e., lifting the sanctions] under any circumstances and by all means: "the law has made the president dependent on the will of Congress, and in Congress a large majority stands for the introduction of the new sanctions", the analyst said.
Speaking in Finland on Thursday, Putin said he "very much regrets" the worsening of relations between Russian Federation and the United States, blaming it on "anti-Russia hysteria" in domestic U.S. politics.
The EU and U.S. previously worked together to impose sanctions in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, overcoming division on how far to go in punishing Moscow. "This is the rationale and the standard for our European sanctions, no more, but not less", he said.
It also imposes restrictions on anyone involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and those who do business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.
Earlier on Thursday, a senior White House aide said Trump could veto the pending legislation in order to push for a tougher deal, an idea that drew skepticism in Congress because his administration had spent weeks lobbying for a weaker bill. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.
Before Trump's decision to sign the bill into law, Sen.
He repeated that the USA sanctions were a step to worsening relations between the two countries.
"The new law imposes strong restrictions on the president regarding a possible withdrawal of the sanctions, which could take place if progress on the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis is reached".
"Trump's performance surely has left nobody in Moscow with the impression he is a guy who can deliver", said Weiss, now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. Both Republicans and Democrats alike had predicted a swift veto override if Trump did try to thwart the measure. Russian Federation could look at imposing economic counter-sanctions against the United States, the former official said, saying he thought that retaliation in Ukraine or Syria was less likely because it was more likely to lead to a USA counter response. "It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this boorishness towards our country".
"The personnel of the USA diplomatic missions in Russia will be cut by 755 people and will now equal the number of the Russian diplomatic personnel in the United States, 455 people on each side", Putin said in an interview with Vesti.ru channel, according to Russian state media.
"This goes beyond all reasonable bounds", Putin said.