WASHINGTON — A group of 11 Republican senators broke ranks with their leadership and the administration on Tuesday to side with Democrats in a showdown over sanctions on Russia, underscoring the political sensitivity of the issue amid questions about President Trump’s relationship with Moscow. The Republicans voted with Democrats seeking to keep sanctions in place on companies controlled by an influential Russian oligarch with connections to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The 11 Republican votes allowed Senate Democrats to advance a measure that would reverse a decision last month by the Treasury Department to lift sanctions that it imposed last year on companies controlled by the oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska, including the aluminum giant Rusal. The Treasury Department’s decision would leave in place personal sanctions on Mr. Deripaska and require him to give up control over Rusal and two linked companies, EN+ and JSC EuroSibEnergo. The measure still needs to clear several more hurdles, and proponents need to attract at least two more Republican votes to win final passage in the Senate. But Tuesday’s vote was a symbolic crack in the Republican Party, and came despite opposition from the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and a last-ditch… Read full this story
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