03:09 GMT +310 December 2018
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    US Congress Likely to Postpone New Russia Sanctions Until 2019 - Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Congress is unlikely to pass legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia before the end of this year, focusing instead on such domestic issues as judicial nominations or government spending measures, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

    "We don’t have very much time [to pursue legislation]. It’s going to be a real race, unless everyone wants to stay here for Christmas," Republican John Cornyn of Texas said, as quoted by the outlet.

    READ MORE: Russia-US Trade Raises 8.5% Year-on-Year Despite Sanctions — Customs Service

    New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez shared the opinion that there was no time left for the new legislation to be approved.

    "The clock is running out on us… We don’t have an administration that’s actually embracing it," Menendez said.

    The United States has recently held midterm elections to fill 435 seats in the House Representatives and just over one-third of the 100-member Senate in addition to other state and local offices. Lawmakers have short time to pass any bill as Congress enters the "lame duck" period before newly elected officials take office in January.

    On August 2, a group of US senators led by Lindsey Graham introduced an extensive sanctions bill against Russia in response to its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as "malign influence in Syria, aggression in Crimea." Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported that the senators aimed to block dollar-denominated transactions by Russian banks and US nationals’ operations with the country’s sovereign debt.

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