The US Senate has passed legislative changes that will allow the President waive sanctions on countries that are attempting to establish closer relations with Washington, but are also involved in weapons deals with Russia.
The decision passed with 87 Senators voting in favor and 10 voting against, writes RFE/RL.
This decision had already been passed by the US House of Representatives, and now awaits President Trump’s final approval.
Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis appealed to Congress to release certain countries from sanctions. In his appeal to Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, Secretary Mattis reported that Russia should pay for its “aggressive, destabilizing behavior,” but the punishment should not concern US allies and other countries developing ties with Washington.
The head of the Pentagon asserts that this step “will only be helpful to the US and countries seeking to continue security relations with Washington.”
While the bill was being discussed, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said that he was concerned that this decision would undermine US efforts to penalize Russia for its aggressive actions.
According to the current legislation regarding sanctions against Russia, any country purchasing weapons from Russian businesses that are subject to sanctions runs the risk of incurring sanctions from the United States.