"The state consultations have so far acknowledged that they are well ahead of the deadline and tell us they are working on it," said a high-ranking Democratic Hill official. A high-ranking Senate clerk said he had "nothing to do with Congress" following the November announcement that Russia had not confirmed that it did not use chemical weapons. This announcement should at least go along with the announcement of a second round of sanctions – but three months later they were not imposed.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, criticized the administration's inaction.
"Too often, the Trump government is taking root when it comes to holding overseas powers, especially Russia, to account," Shaheen told CNN on Wednesday. "The Kremlin has used a nervous agent on NATO soil – it's hard to overestimate how brazen this behavior is – there is an overwhelming consensus that the Kremlin should pay a high price and the law is crystal clear in this regard to pursue some. "
After the US found in March last year that the Russian government had perpetrated the poisoning of Sergei Skripal with VX nerve agents, an attack that had also affected Skripal's and others' daughter, the US responded by sanctioning certain technologies that were used under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and the US were called Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
Russia then had 90 days to confirm to the US that it no longer uses chemical weapons and will allow inspectors to prove it – or it would face much tougher sanctions that could affect banks, trade or even diplomatic relations.
However, when Russia did not meet its requirements, not surprisingly, no new sanctions were imposed. Instead, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, "The department is deliberating with Congress on the next steps needed."
Deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said: "We need to start co-ordination and consultation with the United States Congress, and we will," he added, "there was no timetable for these consultations."
The US State Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment on this story.
A member of the Senate tells CNN that "the administration has not told us how or when to impose sanctions."
A reminder from Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo's appeal to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said the secretary "reaffirmed the US commitment to hold Russia responsible for the use of a chemical weapon in Salisbury, UK, under the terms of the CBW Act to draw. "
Both Senator Shaheen and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the top Democrat in the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote letters to the State Department. Menendez said in a statement Wednesday: "President Trump's willing paralysis in the face of the Kremlin's aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress, Putin's actions can not be tolerated, and the consequences of inaction are increasing rapidly – further humanitarian disasters in Syria, regional instability "Abduction of Ukrainian sailors and confiscation of ships and the constant erosion of international standards."
Frustrations reach a turning point
The law would force the administration to consider whether Russia is a state sponsor of terror. It would also require a two-thirds vote by the Senate if Trump decides to leave NATO, a report on the assets and assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and title insurance companies in the US to report information on who owns businesses. Buy high-priced houses here – and hammer out Russia with a series of additional sanctions and new ways of containing Russian disinformation and cybercrime.
"One thing is becoming clearer: Moscow will continue to push until it meets real resistance, so we are making a proposal to address the realities of the Kremlin's threat in a holistic way, while sending a clear message to our opponents that the US Congress will protect our institutions, allies and values, even if the President decides not to do so, "Menendez wrote in the enclosed statement.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is usually a staunch supporter of the government, said the bill "should change the status quo and impose significant sanctions and measures against Putin's Russia."
"He should stop and stop meddling in the US electoral process, stop cyberattacks on US infrastructure, remove Russia from Ukraine, and stop chaos in Syria," said the South Carolina Republican. "The sanctions and other measures contained in this bill are the worst ever imposed – and a direct result of Putin's continuing desire to undermine American democracy – the sanctions and measures we propose are geared towards the best way to respond. "
The Republican Senate of Colorado, Cory Gardner, repeated the condemnation of his colleagues against the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Putin's Russia is an unlawful regime that aims in hell to undermine international law and destroy the US-led liberal world order through the invasion of Ukraine, chemical attacks on NATO soil, support of the heinous Assad regime, Weapon violations Control contracts and interference in US elections require Russia's actions the strongest reaction of the United States, "said Gardner.
Months of inquiries
The action on Wednesday is followed for months by requests from lawmakers of both parties regarding the role of Russia in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March 2018 in Salisbury, England.
The then Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed. Royce (R-CA), who is now retired, first asked the administration in March 2018 whether Russia had violated the 1991 law. After the White House failed to respond, Royce rewrote in July – a motion that led the Trump administration to find that Russia was indeed responsible for Skripal's attack. For this, the US had to impose a first tranche of sanctions against certain US exports to Russia, which might also have been used militarily.
In September 2018, Shaheen sent a letter to the Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs to clarify the CBW's sanctions. Last month, Menendez wrote to Pompeo asking "he (s) to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation for the use of Novichok against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK."
"These sanctions are more than two months overdue and I urge you to impose these sanctions immediately to ensure that the mandatory sanctions regime is not undermined," he wrote.
Nicole Gaouette, Zachary Cohen and Jamie Crawford of CNN contributed to this report.