By RT News
Trump signed the bill on Wednesday morning, US media reported citing an unnamed White House official.
The administration will carry out the law, but has concerns about its impact and the constitutionality of some of its provisions, Bloomberg reported citing a signing statement Trump appended to the law.
POTUS has signed the Russia sanctions bill – with a signing statement raising red flags about what he sees as major concerns
— Margaret Talev (@margarettalev) August 2, 2017
According to the statement, Congress encroached on presidential authority and the sanctions will hurt US ability to work with allies.
Trump had little option but to sign the bill, as the Senate approved it by a vote of 98-2 on July 27, and the House of Representatives voted 419 to 3 in favor the day prior.
The new sanctions cite Russia’s 2014 “annexation” of the Crimean peninsula and the alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as Moscow’s military intervention in Syria. While the US is describing Russia’s actions in Syria as aggression, Russian forces were officially invited by the internationally recognized Syrian government, while the US presence in that country falls outside international law.
The new sanctions have been criticized by several senior politicians in Europe, including the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Critics of the US government’s move argue the sanctions could affect European energy security and serve Washington’s economic interests – in line with Trump’s stated “America First” foreign policy.
“We deem it absolutely unacceptable when a bill demands that Europeans give up on Russian gas so that they could sell American instead, at a much higher price,” Gabriel said.
Russian energy giant Gazprom currently supplies a third of European gas demands, having delivered a record 179 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Europe in 2016. Construction of additional delivery infrastructure would diversify the supply of Russian gas and make the delivery of fuel much cheaper than the costly US alternative of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Trump: Newly-signed Russia sanctions law ‘significantly flawed’
“Today, I have signed into law H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.’ While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
He went on to state that Congress “included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions,” citing its “haste to pass this legislation.”
Referencing the bill’s “flaws,” Trump said it “encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” which will make it harder for the US to strike good deals and will “drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.”
“Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity,” Trump said. “It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”
This article (Trump: Newly-signed Russia sanctions law ‘significantly flawed’) was originally published on RT News and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.