| WASHINGTON, June 12
WASHINGTON, June 12 U.S. senators said on Monday
they were close to an agreement on legislation imposing new
sanctions on Russia, including a possible provision that would
prevent the White House from easing sanctions without
Democrats and Republicans on the Foreign Relations and
Banking Committees have been negotiating for about a week on an
amendment to an Iran sanctions bill that also would impose
sanctions to punish Russia over issues including its alleged
meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, annexation of Ukraine's
Crimea region and support for the government of Syria in that
country's six-year-long civil war.
The Iran bill could come up for a vote as soon as this week.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on
Monday that lawmakers still were working on "additional and
much-needed sanctions on Russia."
Senators declined to comment publicly on what would be in
the final bill but proposals under consideration included
putting existing sanctions imposed by presidential executive
order into law and imposing additional sanctions that might
include some on Russia's energy sector. They also could include
creation of a process that would require Congress to review, and
potentially block, any effort by the White House to ease
sanctions on Russia.
Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, told reporters earlier on Monday that an
agreement could be announced as soon as late Monday or Tuesday.
In December, the final full month of President Barack
Obama's administration, the United States sanctioned Russian
businessmen and companies for Moscow's role in Ukraine.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)