Republicans: Putin 'not welcome' on Capitol Hill as new sanctions push begins

The Capitol dome is seen amongst blooming flowers in Washington U.S

The Capitol dome is seen amongst blooming flowers in Washington U.S

Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said last week that Trump and Putin made "important verbal agreements" related to arms control and cooperation in Syria.

He also urged senators to consider the policies Trump has adopted toward Russian Federation, apart from his rhetoric about the attack on the election. Since then, the summit in Helsinki between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has only stoked criticism from legislators.

"It reduces the possibility an Indian arms purchase from Russian Federation will trigger CAATSA sanctions, a situation both the administration and most of Capitol Hill are keen to avoid", he said.

"I'm very concerned that Russian Federation will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election", Trump wrote. "Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russian Federation than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats", Trump tweeted Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump last week invited Putin to visit Washington this autumn in the aftermath of their summit in Helsinki.

Under pressure from Congress, which past year passed a tough sanctions law targeting Russia, the U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs for election meddling and "malign" activities.

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In addition to placing sectoral sanctions on Russia's cyber actors, the legislation would further require the Senate to sign off on any USA exit from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, amid bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump's commitment to the transatlantic alliance. Given the timing, the announcement surprised White House allies, and even appeared to catch Trump's top intelligence official, Dan Coats, off guard.

"We are fully committed to ensuring Congress maintains an active role in both confronting Russian aggression and ensuring that the Executive Branch takes the necessary steps to protect the USA and our allies", the senators said in a joint statement released Tuesday.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded, with a subsequent endorsement from the Senate intelligence committee, that Russia's active measures in 2016 were meant to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump get elected.

"Now we need to wait for the dust to settle, but later it may be possible to discuss these issues in a businesslike manner, but not now", Ushakov said in remarks that were carried on state news agencies and other Russian news organizations. Mark Warner, D-Va., the Democratic leader on the Intelligence Committee, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump has invited Putin to the White House this fall as a follow-up to their private meeting in Helsinki last week. In 2016, he repeatedly claimed the election was "rigged".

He also cautions against Putin's ulterior motives in maintaining a relationship with the U.S. He believes that Russian intelligence has learned from the DNC hacks and may interfere with U.S. elections in the coming years.

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