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United States to announce new economic sanctions on Russian Federation

17 April 2018

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Monday: "We are considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation and a decision will be made in the near future".

The United States also imposed sanctions on 24 Russians earlier this month over what USA intelligence agencies have said was interference in the US presidential election.

The confused announcement and walk-back outlined in the report came just days after the U.S., along with the United Kingdom and France, ordered strikes on Syrian facilities in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack and as the Trump administration has ramped up criticism of Russian Federation for its support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

At the time, she said that United States would announce on Monday, sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Syria's Assad's chemical weapons attack.

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The White House said on Monday it is considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation following a suspected poison gas attack in Syria, but has not made a decision yet.

With an announcement seemingly imminent, officials at the Departments of State and Treasury referred queries back to the White House, while others indicated a Monday announcement was now unlikely.

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The United States and European allies had discussed a sanctions package in the build up to last week's strikes against targets in Syria, with the American measures said to be further along in the planning process than Europe - where consensus among member states is needed.

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Trump last week tweeted that USA relations with Russia were at their lowest point since the Cold War - and put the blame at the feet of special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the president's campaign.

"Ten days ago President Trump wanted the United States of America to withdraw from Syria".

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"The president is going to continue to be tough on [Russia]", she said.

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"Again, he feels like it's better for the world if they have a good relationship", she explained. "We've been very clear, in our actions, what we expect, and we hope that they'll have a change in their behaviour".

United States to announce new economic sanctions on Russian Federation