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Russian Lawmakers Pass Counter-Sanctions Bill, Restricting U.S. Imports

Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

Russia's lower house of parliament approved a bill that would give the Kremlin authority to ban trade in certain items with countries deemed to be unfriendly to Moscow.

Russian lawmakers promised a “painful” response after the United States imposed sweeping sanctions in April against some of Russia’s biggest firms and businessmen for "malign activities.” A retaliatory draft bill threatened to restrict imports of U.S. goods including medicines and agricultural goods but has since been diluted, removing language that targeted specific goods and sectors out of fears about the potential impact on Russian consumers and industries.

Under the legislation that passed a third and final reading Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin will decide what products would be affected by the restrictions, subject to parliamentary approval.

The draft law is subject to upper-house approval and signing by Putin.

Another bill being considered by the Duma seeks to punish businesses and individuals for complying with anti-Russia sanctions.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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