US Senate gives okay to sanctions on three nations

The Latest: Trump to sign bill for new sanctions on Russia

US President Donald Trump will sign legislation that imposes sanctions on Russian Federation, the White House said on Friday, after Moscow ordered the United States to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two US diplomatic properties in retaliation for the bill.

Late on Friday, the White House issued a statement saying Trump would sign the bill after reviewing the final version. The White House has given mixed messages about whether Trump will sign the legislation at a time when his presidential campaign is under investigation over possible collusion with Moscow.

The bill - which also includes measures targeting North Korea and Iran - is created to restrict Trump's ability to lift punitive measures on Moscow.

"In the case of new unilateral actions of the USA authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the U.S., it will be followed by a tit-for-tat response", the Foreign Ministry stated.

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"This means that the total number of personnel employed by US diplomatic and consular establishments in the Russian Federation has been reduced to 455 people".

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies later Friday that he would not rule out further steps, adding that Russia's "toolbox" of how to react to the new sanctions "doesn't come down to" cutting the embassy staff and seizing the recreational retreat.

The move was a further blow to hopes in Moscow that Trump's election might help improve ties that slumped to their lowest point since the Cold War over the Kremlin's meddling in Ukraine and alleged interference in the U.S. election. The ministry is also suspending the U.S. Embassy's use of two sites - a storage facility and a dacha on an island in the Moscow River.

The legislation puts Trump in a hard position. The US also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and denied Russian diplomatic staff access to the NY and Maryland compounds.

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But on Thursday in Finland, Mr Putin said: "We are behaving in a very restrained and patient way, but at some moment we will need to respond".

Russia had originally threatened the ouster of diplomats and seizure of property in December after the USA ordered 35 Russian envoys out of the US and seized two embassy compounds outside NY and Washington in protest of alleged Russian meddling in the election.

But allegations from the U.S. intelligence community that Putin interfered in the U.S. elections to get Trump elected have made any concessions to Trump politically toxic.

"We have received the Russian government notification", a State Department official said on condition of anonymity. But rejecting it could lead to an embarrassing veto override, as the bill cleared both chambers by wide margins, and lead to criticism that he's seeking to protect Russian Federation.

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