Britain Confident Trump Will Stand Up to Putin

Fredrick Soto
August 22, 2018

Britain on Tuesday will call for the European Union to increase sanctions against Russian Federation, saying the bloc had to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with the United States, which hit Moscow with new economic curbs this month.

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Aug. 20, 2018. I haven't thought about it.

The announcement of the actions came as U.S. lawmakers urged tighter economic restrictions on Moscow and Britain's top diplomat accused Russia's leader of pursuing policies that are making the world more unsafe. The administration's actions come at the president's direction, he added, and he said he had a list of times Trump voiced support for the intelligence community's assessment of Russia's 2016 interference, just as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did during testimony last month.

Marshall Billingslea, the US Treasury Department's top terrorist financing official, acknowledged that the threat from Russian Federation was "significant and continuing" but told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that without the sanctions "their behaviour would be even further off the charts".

What else will the Foreign Secretary be doing in Washington?

Britain, the European Union, and the United States have blamed Russia for an attack with the Novichok chemical agent that sickened former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, in March.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions on two Russian individuals, three companies and six Russian-flagged ships, over alleged business ties with North Korea and Moscow's activity in global cyberspace.

In addition, they recalled that the administration had expelled 60 Russian spies and closed Russia's consulates in San Francisco and Seattle.

But the officials faced questions from sceptical lawmakers about the administration's policy toward Russian Federation, particularly since Trump has sent conflicting messages about it.

National flags of Russia and the US fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017.

The U.S.is sanctioning two Russian shipping companies suspected of transferring petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Lavrov was responding to an initiative by Britain's foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, who is due to tell an audience in Washington later on Tuesday that London wants the European Union, which it is in the process of leaving, to increase sanctions on Moscow.

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