Rubio: US Negotiating Deal With Russia to Lift Sanctions ‘Unrealistic’

© Flickr / Gage SkidmoreSenator Marco Rubio has called for Congress to permanently extend of the government’s post-9/11 surveillance powers.
Senator Marco Rubio has called for Congress to permanently extend of the government’s post-9/11 surveillance powers. - Sputnik International
US Senator Marco Rubio claims that an improved relationship between the United States and Russia would be "good for the world" but lifting sanctions without conditions being met would be unrealistic and counterproductive.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Andrew Feinberg — An improved relationship between the United States and Russia would be "good for the world" but lifting sanctions without conditions being met would be unrealistic and counterproductive, US Senator Marco Rubio said on the chamber floor.

"I think it would be good for the world if the United States and Russia had a better relationship, in particularly with the Russian people with whom we have no quarrel," Rubio stated on Wednesday. "Do the Russian people want a better relationship with America? I have no doubt about that."

Any bargain with Russia, however, that would involve the lifting of sanctions would be "unrealistic and counterproductive,” if relief requirements are not reached, Rubio claimed.

Former Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks at Rastrelli's Tuscany Special Events Center in Clinton, Iowa, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Rubio argued that the sanctions against Moscow should remain in place until the conditions in those sanctions are met, and “until the sovereignty of Ukraine is respected, until these efforts to undermine democracy and spread misinformation are fully accounted for.”

Rubio spoke on the same day the Russia Review Act, of which he is a co-sponsor, was introduced. The bill, which is based on the Iran Nuclear Review Act passed in the last Congress, would require Senate approval of any deal negotiated by President Donald Trump’s administration that would involve lifting the sanctions imposed in retaliation for the Russian involvement in Ukraine and alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

US-Russian relations soured following disagreements over the crisis in Ukraine. The United States imposed sanctions against Russia after Crimea held a referendum in 2014 in which a vast majority of its residents decided to reunify with Russia. Russian officials have denied meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs and have called allegations of interfering in US elections absurd and an attempt to distract from domestic issues.

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