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US House votes to suspend normal trade relations with Russia

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CALIFORNIA, USA - People gather for a rally in Los Angeles, United States to protest against Russia's attacks on Ukraine, on March 5, 2022. (Katie McTiernan - Anadolu Agency)
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Mar 18, 2022 - 07:10 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to halt normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act was approved in the chamber 424-8. The only opposition came from Republicans, with lawmakers Lauren Boebert, Thomas Massie, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Dan Bishop, Chip Roy and Glenn Grothman.

The act was introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Kevin Brady, the committee’s ranking Republican. A similar bill is currently winding its way through the Senate after being introduced in the chamber on March 8.

President Joe Biden announced last week that the US would be moving to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status, but doing so requires congressional approval.

Russia began its war against Ukraine on Feb. 24. It has drawn international condemnation, led to sweeping financial sanctions and export controls on Moscow and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 780 civilians have been killed and 1,252 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, which emphasizes that the true number is likely much higher.

More than 3.2 million people have also fled to neighboring countries, according to UN figures.

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