On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives will vote on a bill to impose more sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The White House is unhappy with one of the provisions in the bill, which would prevent the president from removing sanctions without congressional approval.
On Monday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president is still examining the bill before he makes a decision about whether to sign or veto it. If Trump decides to veto it, Congress could still then override the veto if a two-third majority in each house votes to support the bill.
“In regards to the sanctions bill, the President has been very vocal about his support for continuing sanctions on those three countries. He has no intention of getting rid of them, but he wants to make sure we get the best deal for the American people possible. Congress does not have the best record on that … he’s very focused on that, but at the same time wants to make sure that sanctions on those three countries remain, and he’s going to study that legislation and see what the final product looks like,” Sanders said.
Trump sees foreign policy in terms of deals and has repeatedly stressed his desire to clinch the “best deal” for the US. However, supporting more sanctions against Russia would prevent him from making a deal with Russia without congressional support, political analyst Dmitri Mikheev told Radio Sputnik.
“I think that no-one benefits from sanctions. The US is trying to show two things simultaneously: to Europe, that it should know in its place, and to Russia, that there can’t be an equal partnership with the US.”
“If they force Trump to sign it (and it seems that this is what will happen), then they will impose on him that same strategy that the US has been pursuing for more than 70 years, of ‘leading the world,’ so to speak,” Mikheev said.
“Trump would probably like to have a purely business relationship, he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin and, in my opinion, doesn’t want confrontation with him. However, for the establishment it is important that the US continues this strategy of world domination.”
“The Republican establishment is clearly in support of these sanctions. Trump’s electorate is against putting pressure on Russia and getting into conflict but that is only a third of the population and a lot of people are not ready to give up the ‘dream’ of American leadership.”
“So, it seems that he will sign the legislation after all and then it will be easier for the Senate to control Trump – they need to ‘bind his hands with blood’: if he signs it then he will set foot on the same path of global domination. Here, geopolitics is more important than the interests of individual companies,” Mikheev said.
The European Union is also opposed to the US sanctions bill, since it contains a clause which threatens to punish businesses working to develop, upgrade and maintain Russian-related projects anywhere in the world.
European Commission chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said the move would impact Europe’s “energy independence and security interests.”
European Commissioners have prepared a list of affected projects and are set to discuss the outcome of the Senate’s decision on July 26. Their response could well entail retaliatory measures launched within days — Mr. Schinas said the EU was prepared to respond “adequately and immediately” if necessary, although still expressed hope a robust response would not be needed.