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A key House lawmaker is promising to push harder for new sanctions against Syria, after Russia has opposed efforts at the United Nations to pass a resolution calling for a pause in the violence in Aleppo.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce said late Thursday that Russia’s action is “shameful,” and that new U.S. sanctions would help secure peace in light of the U.N.’s failure.

“Russia’s continued obstructionism is absolutely shameful,” Royce said. “I will continue to press for a new approach — starting with U.S. sanctions that deny vital resources to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s war machine.”

House Republicans have already passed a Syria sanctions bill, but it hasn’t cleared the Senate. President Obama’s team worked to delay the vote in the fall due to ongoing negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, which would have been caught indirectly by the legislation due to penalties for entities that do business with the Syrian government and military.



There’s also a chance that President-elect Trump’s campaign compliments for Putin could discourage lawmakers from pushing the policy next year.

Obama’s outgoing team is increasingly open to punishing Russia, which vetoed a resolution calling for a 10-day pause on bombing in Aleppo during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power accused Russia of “placing its military aims over the survival of Syrian men, women, and children” and suggested additional action against Russia. “Member states must swiftly consider the other tools we can employ at the U.N. — including through the General Assembly — to apply more effective pressure,” Power said.

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