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Senate Democrats' efforts to block the Trump movement on Russia sanctions fail



The sanction resolution of minority leader Chuck Schumer, who claimed 60 votes to continue, was defeated in a 57-42 vote. Vermont independent since Bernie Sanders missed the vote.

But the result still represented a symbolic claim of the tax department's decision in December to lift the sanctions for the companies affiliated with Deripaska, a Kremlin ally. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats to support the Schumer's resolution and argued that the Trump administration made a mistake by sanctions against Rusal, the world's second largest aluminum producer, and the EN + Group and JSC EuroSibEnergo.
While the case is dead in the Senate, Parliament could still opt to forward the rejection decision. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has introduced a parallel solution that Parliament could still take up for a Thursday deadline.

According to a sanctions law of 201

7, Congress is empowered to stop any decision taken by the Trump administration to weaken the sanctions and to allow lawmakers with a 30-day window to reject the plan.

Wednesday's vote came one day after Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin went to Capitol Hill in an attempt to ease Republican Senator's concerns about the sanction plan. He failed to convince the 11 Republicans who collapsed with majority leader Mitch McConnell later Tuesday to vote with Democrats on Schumeros resolution.

"It sends the wrong message to Russia and to the oligarch – a closely related Mr Putin, Oleg Deripaska – who in my judgment will continue to maintain significant control under the finance minister's plan," said Susan Collins of Maine, one of Republicans, who voted with Democrats, after the first vote.

The Trump administration claimed that sanctions were first abrogated when the Ministry of Finance reached agreement with the companies diluting Deripasa's ownership and limiting its influence on the voting shares he gave up under the agreement.


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