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WASHINGTON: The US Senate overwhelmingly backed legislation on Thursday that would remove “most favored nation” trade status for Russia and its close ally Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine, allowing for higher tariffs on imports from the two countries.

As voting continued, the tally in the 100-member Senate was 65-0 in favor of the measure removing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. Russia calls the assault a “special military operation.”

Senate approval will send the measure to the House of Representatives, where passage was expected later on Thursday, sending the legislation to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign into law.

Russia, facing default risks, says will do all possible to pay creditors

The House passed the legislation last month, but it stalled in the Senate as Democrats and Republicans disagreed over whether to also consider legislation codifying Biden’s executive order banning Russian energy imports.

The House must reconsider the bill because of changes made in the Senate.

Some senators also had disagreed over language in a provision in the trade bill reauthorizing the Magnitsky Act, a law that allows sanctions over human rights violations.

Swiss have frozen $8 billion in assets under Russia sanctions

Senators announced a compromise late on Wednesday in which they agreed to first consider the trade measure and later the energy bill on Thursday.

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