Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | ePaper

Tillerson warns against steps that cut off talks with Russia

  • Print


AP, Washington :
The U.S. relationship with Russia is at an all-time low and deteriorating further, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, yet he cautioned against taking steps that might close off promising avenues of communication between the two former Cold War foes.
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson was noncommittal about a package of new Russia sanctions, saying he's still reviewing the proposed penalties that Senate Republicans and Democrats agreed upon after lengthy negotiations. But it's important, he stressed, that President Donald Trump have the flexibility "to turn the heat up" on Russia if necessary.
At the same time, he also said he doesn't want to preemptively shut down a potentially productive conversation. As an example, Tillerson said talks with Moscow on stabilizing war-ravaged Syria are progressing, but it's too early to tell if the discussions will bear fruit. Imposing more sanctions could lead the Russians to curtail the dialogue.
Top lawmakers on two Senate committees - Banking and Foreign Relations - announced the sanctions deal late Monday amid the firestorm over Russia's meddling in the presidential election and investigations into Moscow's possible collusion with members of President Donald Trump's campaign.
The plan calls for strengthening current sanctions and imposing new ones on corrupt Russian figures, those involved in human rights abuses and those supplying weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The package also would require a congressional review if a president attempts to ease or end current penalties. And, penalties would be slapped on those responsible for malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government.
If the Trump administration decides to oppose the new sanctions, they could be in a bind. The package is to be added to a bill imposing penalties on Iran that the Senate is currently debating.

More News For this Category

Conflicts in Syria, Iraq far from over despite IS setbacks

Conflicts in Syria, Iraq far from over despite IS setbacks

AFP, Baghdad :Despite the recapture of swathes of territory from the Islamic State group, the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are far from over as their governments face major

Iran can quit nuclear deal if US keeps adding sanctions: Rouhani

Iran can quit nuclear deal if US keeps adding sanctions: Rouhani

AFP, Tehran :President Hassan Rouhani warned on Tuesday that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new

UK to seek 'temporary customs union' after Brexit

UK to seek 'temporary customs union' after Brexit

AFP, London :Britain will seek a "temporary customs union" with the European Union after Brexit, the government said Tuesday as it prepared to publish its first detailed proposals on

News In Brief

Bomb kills eight soldiers in PakistanReuters, QuettaA roadside bomb killed eight soldiers in a remote district in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, a government official said on Tuesday, the

Taliban’s 'open letter' to Trump urges US to leave Afghanistan

Taliban’s 'open letter' to Trump urges US to leave Afghanistan

AP, Islamabad :The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday released an "open letter" to President Donald Trump, reiterating their calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 16 years

Modi says India will fight foreign threats

Modi says India will fight foreign threats

AFP, New Delhi :India is strong enough to defend its borders against any threat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an Independence Day speech as the nation faces a

India to Deploy Israeli Fence System on Pak Border That Detects Infiltration Bids

PTI, New Delhi :India is deploying along its volatile border with Pakistan a smart Israel-developed fencing system having a 'quick response team' mechanism which strikes when the CCTV-powered control

Landslide in north India leaves 46 dead

Landslide in north India leaves 46 dead

Al Jazeera News :At least 46 people have been killed after a massive landslide trapped two buses and washed away houses in northern India's Himalayan foothills.Soldiers and volunteers resumed

Australia's Crown says all staff held in China now free

Australia's Crown says all staff held in China now free

AFP, Sydney :Australia's Crown Resorts said Monday that China had released all of the casino group's employees who were detained as part of a gambling crackdown last year.Mogul James

8 security personnel among 15 killed in Pakistan's Quetta blast

Xinhua, Islamabad :At least 15 people, including eight security personnel, were killed and 30 others injured in a bomb blast that hit a security forces' truck in the Pakistani