The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly (419-3) passed legislation which imposes new sanctions on Russia (for involvement in the 2016 election), Iran, and North Korea, and require the President to obtain approval from Congress before lifting US sanctions. The US Senate recently passed a similar bill (see previous blog), but the House amended the legislation before passing it and so it must now return to the Senate for approval. The White House has expressed concerns that the Bill will restrict a President’s ability to conduct foreign policy, but has not yet indicated whether President Trump will sign the legislation.
The EU has raised concerns about these new US sanctions (see previous blog), saying that it stands ready to retaliate if the US imposes new sanctions on Russia without first addressing Europe’s concerns. EU Commissioners have been briefed that several EU energy and infrastructure projects, including a multibillion-euro pipeline involving Russia, could be affected by the sanctions in their current form.