13:47 GMT +319 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) was originally introduced in February by US GOP Senator Lindsey Graham. The bipartisan bill calls for a range of sanctions against Moscow, targeting Russia’s sovereign debt, banks, cyber industry and energy sector in response to alleged foreign meddling.

    A letter to US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch, seen by The Daily Beast, says that the Trump administration opposes the bill, which it claims could be harmful to the United States, its European allies and the global economy.

    "DASKA is unnecessary. The administration has considerable existing robust authorities to address malign Russian behavior", the assistant secretary of state, Mary Taylor, wrote in the letter to Risch on Tuesday.

    The 22-page document, obtained by the Daily Beast, argues that DASKA would harm US allies in Europe and potentially fracture transatlantic backing for the existing sanctions imposed on Russia. Sanctions stipulated by the bill would also target US banks operating in Russia and harm US asset managers and citizens.

    The California Public Employees Retirement System has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Russia’s sovereign debt, the letter pointed out.

    In addition, the bill "risks crippling the global energy, commodities, financial, and other markets" as it would target "almost the entire range of foreign commercial activities with Russia", the document noted. The Trump administration strongly opposes DASKA, unless significant changes are made, the letter concludes.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved DASKA. The bill will now advance for a vote to the full Senate and must also be passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to US President Donald Trump to either veto it or sign it into law.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the legislation is primarily aimed to force competitive Russian companies out of the global market.

    Russia has repeatedly rejected accusations of interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, including those of the United States.

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    Trump administration, Russia, sanctions, Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA)
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