The Senate narrowly rejected Democratic-led efforts to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on Russian companies controlled by oligarch Oleg Deripaska on Wednesday. "Relaxing sanctions on Russian companies flies in the face of that, and I am disappointed that not enough of my colleagues disapproved of the Trump Administration's decision to lift sanctions on Russian companies connected to Oleg Deripaska".
Eleven Republicans broke ranks with party leadership and the Trump administration by voting with Democrats to advance the measure, but it failed to garner the necessary 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.
Many members of Congress have been questioning the Treasury Department's mid-December decision to ease sanctions on the core businesses of Deripaska - Rusal, its parent, En+, and power firm EuroSibEnergo - watering down the toughest penalties imposed on Russian entities since Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Deripaska has agreed to pare back his controlling stakes in the companies, but Schumer said he still retains too much influence on them and has also argued that easing the sanctions would boost Russia's economy. The Treasury Department says the Russian companies have committed to separating from Deripaska, who will remain blacklisted as part of an array of measures announced in early April that targeted tycoons close to the Kremlin.
With Deripaska continuing to have extensive ties to the companies, the problems will continue, Cotton said.
Mnuchin's House briefing came after seven new committee chairmen demanded he hold a briefing in the Capitol, one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize Trump's actions related to Russian Federation. The company sanctions initially caused havoc with global aluminum prices, prompting European allies to complain.
Plans to remove the sanctions are not politically motivated, but were negotiated with the assistance of longtime civil servants at Treasury, Mnuchin told reporters Tuesday after meeting with Senate Republicans.
The other Republican senators who voted with Democrats were Susan Collins of Maine; Steve Daines of Montana; Cory Gardner of Colorado; Josh Hawley of Missouri; John Kennedy of Louisiana; Martha McSally of Arizona; Jerry Moran of Kansas; Marco Rubio of Florida; and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
"With the threat that Russian Federation poses to the United States, to our friends and allies, to democracy around the world, Congress can not just look the other way when the Administration rushes a decision like this". 'I support the administration on this because frankly the law is the law and we've got to follow the law, ' Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney said.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said before Thursday's vote that Mnuchin's answers in the briefing were inadequate. Head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a blog post that one network operated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Central Asia and the Caucasus.