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Schumer - Treasury proposal to relax sanctions on Russian firms is a sham

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to Capitol Hill reporters following weekly Senate policy lunches in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate’s most powerful Democrat on Tuesday said the Trump administration’s proposal to relax sanctions on companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is a sham and that the Republican majority should at least debate a resolution of disapproval.

“The case against the Treasury Department’s proposal is strong,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “This is a sham. It’s a sham to do a favour not only to Deripaska, but to Putin. ... There’s enough questions that at least we should go forward and debate. If the Republicans are scared to even debate something as rudimentary as this, shame on them.”

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Jonathan Oatis