President Donald Trump has signed the bill passed by Congress to put more sanctions on Russia, according to a White House official.
The bill was signed privately at the White House on Wednesday as the ceremony closed to the press, but according to official a statement is forthcoming.
The sanctions bill passed in the Senate by an overwhelmingly supportive vote of 98-2 last week. The House voted 419-3 in support of the bill. The bill also includes sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
The new sanctions were seen as a response to Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election as well as President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive actions in Syria and Ukraine.
Trump signed the legislation despite reservations that it would block attempts to negotiate with Russia during his administration.
“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I were very happy about that,” Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at the State Department on Tuesday.
In a signing statement, Trump expressed his reservations that it encroached on presidential authority, harmed U.S. businesses, and limited the administration’s ability to work with allies to negotiate with Russia.
“[D]espite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity,” Trump said. “It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”