Ha­ley: New sanc­tions near on Rus­sia


Wash­ing­ton — The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion sig­naled Sun­day that it will im­pose new sanc­tions as soon as this week on Rus­sia for sup­port­ing the Syr­ian regime as it al­legedly con­ducted a deadly chem­i­cal at­tack against its own peo­ple.

The U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions, Nikki Ha­ley, on Sun­day an­nounced the sanc­tions and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s com­mit­ment to stay­ing in­volved in the Syria cri­sis, hours be­fore French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron took credit for help­ing turn around Trump’s plan to with­draw U.S. troops.

“Ten days ago, Pres­i­dent Trump was say­ing that the United States would dis­en­gage from Syria,” Macron said Sun­day. “We con­vinced him that it was nec­es­sary to stay there long-term.”

Ha­ley, speak­ing on CBS News’ “Face the Na­tion,” sug­gested that there are no plans to pare down the U.S. pres­ence in Syria any­time soon. On Fox News Sun­day, Ha­ley said troop with­drawal would come af­ter three goals had been ac­com­plished: de­feat­ing Is­lamic State mil­i­tants, en­sur­ing that chem­i­cal weapons will not be used and main­tain­ing the abil­ity to watch Iran.

The aim, she said, is “to see Amer­i­can troops come home, but we are not go­ing to leave un­til we know we have ac­com­plished those things.”

The White House on Sun­day did not im­me­di­ately ad­dress Macron’s com­ments, made dur­ing a tele­vised de­bate with two jour­nal­ists.

Ha­ley, the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s most prom­i­nent diplo­matic voice un­til a new sec­re­tary of state is con­firmed, said the new round of sanc­tions will tar­get Rus­sian com­pa­nies that have helped the gov­ern­ment of Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad make and de­ploy chem­i­cal weapons. A sus­pected chem­i­cal weapons at­tack April 7 spurred the United States and its al­lies to launch more than 100 mis­siles at Syria over the week­end af­ter.

“You will see that Rus­sian sanc­tions will be com­ing down,” Ha­ley said.

Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin “will be an­nounc­ing those Mon­day, if he hasn’t al­ready,” she added. “And they will go di­rectly to any sort of com­pa­nies that were deal­ing with equip­ment re­lated to As­sad and chem­i­cal weapons use. I think every­one is go­ing to feel it at this point. I think every­one knows that we sent a strong mes­sage, and our hope is that they lis­ten to it.”

Ha­ley has been one of the strong­est voices ac­cus­ing Rus­sia of en­abling the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment in its use of chem­i­cal weapons in the civil war, which is now in its sev­enth year. Rus­sia has ve­toed at least six res­o­lu­tions in the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil re­gard­ing chem­i­cal weapons. The Rus­sian ve­toes have been one of the main ir­ri­tants in strained re­la­tions be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Moscow, with West­ern diplo­mats ac­cus­ing Rus­sia of try­ing to pro­tect the As­sad gov­ern­ment.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has placed sanc­tions on Rus­sian in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing penal­ties tar­get­ing Rus­sian oli­garchs close to Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. The roll­out of new sanc­tions is usu­ally guarded, in part to pre­vent peo­ple sub­jected to them from quickly mov­ing their money around.

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