Britain Calls For More EU Sanctions On Russia

MICHAEL KAPPELER via Getty Images

MICHAEL KAPPELER via Getty Images

Making his first visit to the United States since taking office, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to deliver a speech Tuesday that will call on the European Union "to ensure its sanctions against Russian Federation are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S.".

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Aug. 20, 2018. The department said that earlier this year, one vessel linked to the Russian companies transferred 3,500 tons of oil to ships flying the North Korea flag.

Without further action, Hunt said, NATO's "credibility" will be undermined. You have many other things.

And in an interview Monday with the Reuters news agency, Trump said he would consider lifting sanctions against Russian Federation in exchange for cooperation in Syria or Ukraine. "In Ukraine, we have maintained an effort under Ambassador Kurt Volker to provide the means by which Russian Federation can live up to its commitments under the Minsk Agreements", the diplomat said in his speech at a session of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Hunt, who took over from Boris Johnson as Britain's foreign secretary in July, will meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials on August 21, and address the United Nations Security Council on August 23.

Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, faced similar scepticism in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The U.S. expelled 60 Russians from diplomatic missions in the U.S. and shuttered the Seattle consulate over it.

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He and the State Department's top diplomat for Europe, Wess Mitchell, said Russian Federation is feeling the impact, costing its economy tens of billions of U.S. dollars, with companies under sanctions losing a quarter of their operating revenue and having to shed employees.

Still, even with all of those sanctions, there has been no change in Russian behavior, Corker said, citing a classified briefing by administration officials.

The U.S. Treasury said in a statement that the sanctioned companies, Saint Petersburg-based Vela-Marine Ltd and Slovakia-based Lacno S.R.O., and the two individuals helped Divetechnoservices evade previously imposed sanctions.

"And today the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russian Federation are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US".

Both officials said the administration has the sanctions authorities it needs and favors a "continuation" of the current strategy.

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