It's 'Very Early To Be Talking About' Lifting Russia Sanctions

Prime Minister Theresa May with UK's ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch after arriving in Philadelphia ahead of her meeting with Donald Trump on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Prime Minister Theresa May with UK's ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch after arriving in Philadelphia ahead of her meeting with Donald Trump on Friday. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Earlier this month, Trump said he would probably maintain some of the Obama administration's recent sanctions against Russian Federation, although he adds that he might do away with them if Russian Federation works with the us on battling terrorists and achieving other goals.

A photo released by the White House shows President Trump on the phone in the oval office.

On Friday, Trump said he might not like Putin once the leaders got to know each other - but was hopeful they could strike up a good working relationship.

On Thursday, President Trump told Fox News that Putin called him after his election victory to offer his congratulations, but that the two men didn't have a substantive discussion.

However, earlier in January, Trump said that he would consider lifting restrictions if Moscow cooperates with Washington on certain issues, such as nuclear arms reduction.

"I am deeply concerned about reports suggesting that sanctions imposed on Russian Federation may be lifted without resolving the unacceptable and hostile actions that caused the sanctions to be imposed by the US and our allies".

"The Presidents have spoken in favor of establishing a real coordination between the United States and Russian actions in order to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria", the statement said.

A number of countries, including the US, applied sanctions against individuals, businesses and officials from Russian Federation.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons London. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Theresa May refused to rule out that the NHS would be part of a trade deal

No further details regarding the telephone conversation were provided.

The Obama administration levied sanctions on Russian Federation over Putin's annexation of Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine in 2014. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order barring Syrian refugees from entering the USA for an indefinite period of time.

Both the Obama administration and Brussels repeatedly stressed the importance of unity on the matter, though cracks have emerged within the 28-member European Union bloc on the usefulness of prolonging sanctions. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, however, indicated on Friday that the administration may still keep the sanctions in place.

According to a readout from the Kremlin about the meeting, Mr Putin congratulated Mr Trump on becoming president.

Trump also added that he'd spoken with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday and noted that call was "very, very friendly".

Two Republican senators - Arizona's John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Ohio's Rob Portman, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee - warned the White House about easing any punishments on Moscow and they pledged to turn the sanctions into law.

The U.S. Congress had imposed another round of sanctions against Russian Federation under the Obama administration after intelligence agencies confirmed that Moscow was behind the hackings related to the 2016 race that meant to sway the election in Trump's favor.

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