File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( AFP )
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill on Thursday that they said would raise pressure on Russia in response to Moscow's interference in US elections, as well as its activities in Syria and aggression in Crimea.
"The current sanctions regime has failed to deter Russia from meddling in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
"Our goal is to change the status quo and impose crushing sanctions and other measures against Putin’s Russia until he ceases and desists meddling in the US electoral process, halts cyberattacks on US infrastructure, removes Russia from Ukraine, and ceases efforts to create chaos in Syria."
Congress passed a Russia sanctions bill last summer but some lawmakers chafed at what they saw as the Trump administration's reluctance to implement it.
The bill includes restrictions on new Russian sovereign debt transactions, energy and projects, Russian uranium imports and new sanctions on Russian political figures and oligarchs.
Trump said Monday at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that the sanctions would not change despite the Russians’ request, GlobalNews reported.
Trump has withstood withering criticism in recent weeks for his summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in which he did not chastise Moscow for its 2016 US election interference.