The State Department is scheduled to start implementing new Russia sanctions after congressional lawmakers from both parties raised some doubts about the weeks-long delay, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said in a statement on Thursday, Politico reports.
At issue is an October 1 deadline to identify entities in the Russian defense and intelligence sectors in line for new sanctions under a sweeping bipartisan bill that President Donald Trump signed in August.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle started an uproar for taking action after the Trump administration missed that deadline, calling on Trump to practice the powers he has to get tougher and stricter on Moscow. Corker said on Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s department would release the information imminently.
“The Trump administration’s sanctions move is a good first step in responsibly implementing a very complex piece of legislation, and I appreciate Secretary Tillerson’s attention to this important issue,” Corker stated. “Congress will expect thorough and timely consultation until full implementation is complete.”
The Tennessean said on Wednesday that he would obtain some answers from the administration on sanctions within 24 hours, and had a word with the Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan about the issue on Thursday afternoon. A State Department spokesman did not confirm that the guidance would be released Thursday but vowed that it would be made available “shortly.”
“It’s important that we get all the details precisely correct in implementing this complex piece of legislation,” the spokesman stated. “We also need to fully inform Congress of the steps we’re taking. Key industry stakeholders, as well as our allies and partners around the world, also need to hear from us on this important matter.”