WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law a sweeping sanctions bill against Russia, Iran and North Korea this week.
As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet this weekend at a regional forum in Manila, here is a look at new Russia sanctions :
* The law establishes a review process that allows Congress to block any effort by Trump to ease or lift sanctions on Russia.
Lawmakers passed the bill to punish Russia over its alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its involvement in Syria’s civil war.
* Trump, or any U.S. president, must submit a report to the appropriate congressional committee describing the rationale behind any easing of sanctions on Russia and how it would affect U.S. national security interests. Congress would have at least 30 days to hold hearings and then vote on any proposed change. If lawmakers back a “joint resolution of disapproval,” the president would be barred from changing the sanctions.
* New sanctions are introduced on entities doing business with Russian military or intelligence agencies, companies involved in Russian off-shore oil projects, and those participating in Russian oil or gas pipeline construction within Russia. The bill targets a wide range of Russian industries, which might further hurt Russia’s economy, already weakened by 2014 sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea.
* The law also ramps up sanctions against any entity involved in any cyber attacks on behalf of the Russian government, or that is owned by or acting on behalf of any such entity. The president is allowed to waive these sanctions if he determines it is in the national security interest to do so, subject to congressional review.
* Six executive orders signed by President Barack Obama are codified, which would prevent Trump from using an executive order to revoke them. The measures, from 2014-2016, targeted Russia’s financial services, energy, defence and other industries in retaliation for its annexation of Crimea and incursion into Ukraine, as well as cyber-attacks and election interference in the United States.
* The law also requires an interagency report on senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in Russia, their estimated net worth and sources of income, any indications of corruption, and their connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Reporting by Fatima Bhojani and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Alistair Bell