White House Says Russia Sanctions Still Under Consideration


(WASHINGTON) — The White House scrambled Monday to walk back U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s weekend announcement that new economic sanctions against Russia are imminent, but stressed the penalties are still being considered.

Haley created a firestorm Sunday when she said the new sanctions would be imposed by the Treasury Department on Monday, when, in fact, no such announcement was planned, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to clarify the situation, but her explanation created more confusion and led to suggestions that President Donald Trump had personally intervened to halt the sanctions from taking effect Monday.

“We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” Sanders said in a statement.

The two officials, who were not authorized to discuss private administration deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Haley had misspoken when she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would announce the sanctions Monday “if he hasn’t already.” Haley said the sanctions would target those who are enabling Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s government to continue using chemical weapons.

The two officials said the administration had no plans to announce Syria-related sanctions on Russia this week, although they noted that two entities were hit with such penalties last month in a largely overlooked portion of a sanctions package that dealt mainly with Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and hacking.

After Haley’s comments, some in the administration suggested the sanctions now being considered could be rolled out Monday. But others said it would be wiser and more effective to wait for a period longer than three days after the U.S., British and French infuriated Russia with their missile strikes on Syria on Friday.

The officials could not say when …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

      

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