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Trump walks back plan for more sanctions on Russian Federation

Trump walks back plan for more sanctions on Russian Federation

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration said Monday that it is evaluating prospects for new sanctions against Russian entities and companies involved in Syria's chemical-weapons program, a day after a top diplomat said Washington was ready to impose new punitive actions.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to clarify the situation, but her explanation created more confusion and led to suggestions that President Donald Trump had personally intervened to halt the sanctions from taking effect Monday.

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday.

Washington has vowed new sanctions against Russian Federation for supporting Syrian government.

The walkback was a sharp rebuke for Haley, who has used her post in NY, outside Trump's Washington orbit, to talk tough to autocratic regimes.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticized Trump for his rhetoric toward Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin since taking office.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said Moscow will not delay its response to new USA sanctions, according to Russian state news agency RIA.

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"We are considering additional sanctions against Russian Federation, the decision will be made in the near future", - quotes Reuters the statement by Sanders. The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, Jon Huntsman, said in a video, "Before we took action, the United States communicated with" Russia to "reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties".

The White House said US troops will remain in Syria, for now, but the end-goal is still to pull out of the country.

"The president is going to continue to be tough on [Russia]", she said.

Dozens were killed earlier this month in an apparent chemical weapons attack on a hospital in the Syrian town of Douma.

"We're still committed to defeating ISIS", Sanders said on Monday. Haley also said the United States would never go for a one-to-one talk with Assad as it did not consider him worthy of that.

The aim, she said, is "to see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things".

The United States yesterday accused Russia of blocking global inspectors from reaching the site of the suspected poison gas attack in Douma, and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground.