Senators oppose lifting sanctions

Published 1:37 am Sunday, January 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators have said they oppose lifting sanctions against Russia, which the Trump administration is reported to be considering.
Republican Rob Portman, spoke out against the president and leader of his party.
“I am deeply concerned about reports suggesting that sanctions imposed on Russia may be lifted without resolving the unacceptable and hostile actions that caused the sanctions to be imposed by the U.S. and our allies,” Portman said in a statement.
“I would encourage the president to reject this course of action.  To lift the sanctions on Russia for any reason other than a change in the behavior that led to those sanctions in the first place would send a dangerous message to a world already questioning the value of American leadership and the credibility of our commitments after eight years of Obama administration policies. 
Portman, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and founding co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, spoke of the need to support the former Soviet republic, which has been the subject of Russian aggression.
“We must stand by our allies in the region, including Ukraine.  I believe the U.S. Senate should take pro-active steps to codify the sanctions against Russia into law to ensure we live up to our commitments to our allies and uphold longstanding American values and ideals.”
Brown’s Democratic counterpart, Sherrod Brown, also issued a statement opposing a unilateral lifting of sanctions against Russia.
“The Ukrainian community in Ohio knows firsthand the dangers of unchecked Russian aggression,” Brown said.
He also cited the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the United States presidential campaign, which the U.S. intelligence community said was conducted by Russia to aid Trump’s campaign.
“Lifting sanctions now would only reward Russia’s attempts to undermine democracy — from Crimea and Eastern Ukraine to our own U.S. election — and I oppose it,” Brown said. “We should strengthen, not weaken, Russia sanctions in the wake of their cyber attacks on our elections.”

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