White House backs away from Haley's pledge of new sanctions against Russia
Apr 17 2018
The White House on Monday said it was weighing fresh Russian Federation sanctions for Moscow's role supporting Syria's chemical weapons program, but officials cautioned that no decision has yet been taken.
"We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things", she said.
If the US sanctions are enacted, they will be the second such batch in just over a year against Syria's weapons of mass destruction programme. The White House says that isn't the case, and indeed that they never had any intention of Haley making the announcement. "The president also wants the people in the region, our Gulf partners, to step up and do more, and he wants them to take on some of the financial responsibility of all of the military provided there in the region". "And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use". "We can not allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised - either within Syria, on the streets of the United Kingdom or elsewhere".
Elsewhere, the Lithuanian foreign ministry said the Baltic state supported actions by the US, UK and France against the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facilities.
The sanctions were meant to be punitive measures against Russian Federation for propping up the Syrian government under Bashar al Assad, under whose leadership dozens of people were killed in a recent gas attack that many believe to have been perpetrated by Assad himself.
"With or without sanctions, parties have to come to the table: our commitment is first a cease-fire, then help and a political solution", said Blok.
Russian Federation is Europe's biggest gas supplier and, while the European Union has imposed significant sanctions on Moscow's financial, energy and defence sectors over the crisis in Ukraine, close ties between Russian Federation and some European Union members complicate discussions about new punitive measures.
WATCH: What is Trump's endgame in Syria?
"But that's going to depend on the actions of Russian Federation".
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump told his national security team to hold off on implementing the sanctions, which were created to punish Russian Federation for abetting the Assad's April 4 chemical weapons attack on civilians in a rebel stronghold.
Syrian government forces are suspected of using chemical weapons on rebel-held Douma on April 7 - an allegation that Syria's Assad denies.
Meanwhile, as carried out President donaldtrump continued to hail the missile attack.