McCon­nell will­ing to pun­ish Rus­sia

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — An­drew Blake

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to work with Democrats on new sanc­tions against Rus­sia over Moscow’s sup­port for Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad.

While Rus­sia is al­ready sub­ject to an ar­ray of sanc­tions im­posed by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, the Se­nate’s top law­maker said Fri­day its de­fense of the As­sad regime could war­rant fur­ther penal­ties.

“If [the ad­min­is­tra­tion feels] they need ad­di­tional sanc­tions, or we can come up with some­thing that seems to en­joy bi­par­ti­san sup­port, I’d be open to it,” Mr. McCon­nell, Ken­tucky Repub­li­can, said when asked if he’d sup­port ad­di­tional sanc­tions on Rus­sia.

Mr. McCon­nell added he’s “will­ing to talk” to For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Corker, Ten­nessee Repub­li­can, specif­i­cally with re­spect to sanc­tion­ing Rus­sia for con­tin­u­ing to sup­port the Syr­ian pres­i­dent.

“I think it’s cer­tainly good that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s not lifted any of the ex­ist­ing sanc­tions,” Mr. McCon­nell told re­porters. “The Rus­sians are not our friends. I think they’ve demon­strated that over and over and over again.”

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