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News about Russia and the CIS from Leading World News Media.

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23.07.17 U.S. Lawmakers Reach Deal On Russia Sanctions Bill
Reuters
U.S. Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation that allows new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, leading congressional Democrats said on Saturday, in a bill that would limit any potential effort by President Donald Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow. The Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act, which was passed by the Senate a month ago, was held up in the House of Representatives after Republicans proposed including North Korea sanctions in the bill. Read more 
23.07.17 Five Ukraine Troops Die In Fierce Clash With Donetsk Rebels
BBC News
The Ukrainian military says five of its soldiers died in heavy rebel shelling of Ukrainian army positions at Avdiivka just north of rebel-held Donetsk. Three Ukrainian troops died earlier when a mine blew up, the military said. The US Department of State called it "the deadliest one-day period in 2017" in the eastern Ukraine conflict. In a video tweet on Thursday, the state department blamed the "Russian-led" rebels for the flare-up and urged both sides to observe the fragile ceasefire. Read more 
23.07.17 EU Sounds Alarm, Urges U.S. To Coordinate On Russia Sanctions
Reuters
The European Union sounded an alarm on Saturday about moves in the U.S. Congress to step up U.S. sanctions on Russia, urging Washington to keep coordinating with its G7 partners and warning of unintended consequences. In a statement by a spokeswoman after Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress reached a deal that could see new legislation pass, the European Commission warned of possibly "wide and indiscriminate" "unintended consequences", notably on the EU's efforts to diversify energy sources away from Russia. Read more 
23.07.17 Russia: 'Safe Zone' In Syria's Ghouta Demarcated
The Associated Press
Russia's Defense Ministry said Saturday an agreement has been reached with the Syrian opposition on the boundaries for a de-escalation zone for the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus while the Syrian army command said it has ceased military operations in several areas near the capital. The announcements in Moscow and Damascus came after days of bombardment and airstrikes on the area that is known as eastern Ghouta. Activists reported relative calm in the afternoon in the area despite some violations. Read more 
23.07.17 NSA Chief On Russia-U.S. Cyber Unit: Now Is 'not The Best Time'
Reuters
National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers on Saturday rebuffed the prospect for a U.S.-Russia cyber unit, a proposal which has been greeted with incredulity by several senior U.S. lawmakers and which President Donald Trump himself appeared to back down from after initially indicating interest. U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by hacking Democrats' emails and distributing online propaganda to help Trump win the election over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Read more 
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