Russian Federation relations may deteriorate further - Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no plans to meet his North Korean counterpart at a regional gathering in the Philippines later this week, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 USA presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad.

Last week, the US Congress passed a bill to toughen the unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

"Regarding Russia, we have not sought to reduce efforts to spotlight and combat Moscow's "active measures" or information activities", Hammond told the website. The president has until August 7 to sign the bill.

At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Trump would sign the sanctions bill into law, but she could not say when that would happen.

"As I indicated in my first trip to Moscow in meetings at the Kremlin with President Putin, following those meetings, the relationship was at a historic low since the end of the Cold War, and it could get worse", he told reporters, according to TASS.

"The bill remains seriously flawed - particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch's authority to negotiate", Trump said. The state Department explained that the nearly unanimous vote for sanctions against Russian Federation demonstrates the will of the American people to see how Russian Federation will take steps to improve relations with the United States.

Trump's talk of extending a hand of cooperation to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been met with resistance as skeptical lawmakers look to limit his leeway. It allows Congress to block any attempt to ease or end penalties against Russian Federation and imposes new sanctions in response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

Thornton's remarks contrasted with those of U.S. President Donald Trump, who on Saturday accused Beijing of doing "nothing" to help on North Korea and pointed to the huge U.S. trade deficit with China. Another $19.8 million sits untouched at the State Department as Tillerson's aides reject calls from career diplomats and members of Congress to put the money to work against America's adversaries.

China does account for 90 per cent of economic activity with North Korea, Tillerson said, adding that the Chinese have been very clear with the United States that they share the same objective of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.

Some in Moscow and Washington had hoped relations between the former Cold War foes might improve under USA president Donald Trump, who has had warm words for President Vladimir Putin. While he said Americans want the get along with the nuclear-armed power, he did not address other concerns at home.

  • Rogelio Becker