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Trump Scraps New Sanctions Against Russia

Washington (April 17, 2018): United States President Donald Trump rejected, for now at least, a fresh round of sanctions set to be imposed against Russia on Monday, a course change that underscored the split between the president and his national security team.

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The president’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, had announced on Sunday that the administration would place sanctions on Russian companies found to be assisting Syria’s chemical weapons program. The sanctions were listed on a menu of further government options after an US-led airstrike on Syria, retaliating against a suspected gas attack that killed dozens a week earlier.But the White House contradicted her on Monday, saying that Trump had not approved additional measures.

 “We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. Several people familiar with the plan said that Trump was upset with the sanctions roll-out, and administration officials said the strategy was “in a holding pattern.”Monday’s comment from the White House came in contrast to Haley’s specific announcement on Sunday. “You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down,” Haley said. “Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn’t already.”

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White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley reiterated the administration is still reviewing potentially new sanctions.

 “The administration is looking at sanctions on Russia, potentially some more sanctions, quite frankly, but we don’t have any announcement to make at this time,” Gidley said. “There is a chance that we do issue more sanctions. We just don’t have a decision yet from the administration.”

A source familiar with the matter said that more than a dozen entities, including banks and equipment suppliers, are being looked at, and at least several are expected to be sanctioned.

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