Russian PM: Trump has shown ‘total weakness’ by signing sanctions bill


Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday said President Trump is “showing weakness” for signing Russia sanctions legislation into law, arguing his action amounts to declaring “a full-fledged economic war” on Moscow.

“The US President’s signing of the package of new sanctions against Russia will have a few consequences. First, it ends hopes for improving our relations with the new US administration,” Medvedev wrote in a Facebook post.

“Second, it is a declaration of a full-fledged economic war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way. This changes the power balance in US political circles.”

{mosads}Medvedev’s post comes hours after Trump signed the legislation, which passed both chambers of Congress with veto-proof majorities, into law.

Though the president signed the bill, which restricts his ability to lift sanctions on the Kremlin without Congressional approval, he also took a shot at Congress in a subsequent statement, saying the executive limitations will make it more difficult for the U.S. to make “good deals for the American people.”

Russia had cautioned the U.S. about the sanctions bill as it moved through Congress, while a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would hold off from substantive assessments about the bill until it becomes law.

Now that Trump has signed the legislation into law, Medvedev said Moscow will work on economic development to offset the effects of the sanctions. He also echoed a previous comment from Putin’s spokesperson that the new sanctions legislation would adversely affect U.S.-Russia relations.

“Thus, relations between Russia and the United States are going to be extremely tense regardless of Congress’ makeup and regardless of who is president. Lengthy arguments in international bodies and courts are ahead, as well as rising international tensions and refusal to settle major international issues,” Medvedev wrote in the post.

During his presidential campaign and since taking office, Trump has expressed hope that he could improve relations with Russia, but his desire to do so has been clouded by the special counsel probe into Moscow’s election meddling and potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and Russia.

Tags Dmitry Medvedev Donald Trump Russia Vladimir Putin

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