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White House Still Deciding Whether to Approve Russian Sanctions Bill

© AP Photo / Susan WalshWhite House Press Secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington - Sputnik International
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Spokesperson Josh Earnest said that White House is still reviewing the legislation passed by Congress that would impose harsher sanctions on Russia.

The new Russian sanctions bill passed by Congress takes the restrictive measures to a whole new level: legal expert - Sputnik International
US Congressional Bill Takes Anti-Russian Sanctions to ‘Higher Level’
WASHINGTON, December 16 (Sputnik) – The White House is still reviewing the legislation passed by Congress that would impose harsher sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis and provide lethal aid to Ukraine, spokesperson Josh Earnest has told reporters.

"This [sanctions bill] is something that has been the source of some discussions at the White House over the last several days. The legislative language changed a couple of times…in the run-up to its passage," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday aboard Air Force One.

"So this is something that we're still reviewing," Earnest added.

President Barack Obama should sign legislation passed by Congress, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner claims - Sputnik International
Obama Should Sign Russian Sanctions Bill, Arm Ukraine: US House Speaker
Last week the US House and Senate passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which is now awaiting US President Barack Obama's approval. The bill stipulates providing lethal and non-lethal aid to the Ukrainian government and imposing a new round of economic sanctions on Russia, accused by the West of interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs.

The United States, the European Union and their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, despite Moscow having repeatedly denied its involvement in the situation in Ukraine and having contributed to the establishment of peace in the country, by helping facilitate a ceasefire deal between Ukrainian independence supporters and Kiev authorities.

Ahead of the decision on the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, President Obama appeared hesitant to pass additional sanctions on Russia and cautioned that they could be "counterproductive" also warning that they might not be enough to make the Russian leadership change its position on Ukraine.

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