HR 1644: Congress crosses the red line of common sense with bill violating international law; the U.S. can’t control Russian ports without war

From Sputnik International

May 6, 2017

Moscow lashed out at a US Congress bill on tightening sanctions against North Korea which stipulates that the US military may establish control over ports in the Russian Far East. The Russian Upper House warned that such actions violate international law and amount to a declaration of war.

On May 4, the US House of Representatives passed a bill which slapped more sanctions on North Korea and gave the Trump administration the go-ahead to take control over Russian, Iranian, Syrian and Chinese ports in order to ensure that no forbidden cargo reaches Pyongyang.In particular, the bill mentions the ports of Nakhodka, Vanino and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The bill, which was approved by a 419 to 1 margin, is due to be approved by the Senate and then signed by US President Donald Trump.

Tantamount to war

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Upper House’s International Affairs Committee, told Sputnik that the US House of Representatives bill on establishing control over ports in the Russian Far East envisions a show of force and thus amounts to a declaration of war.

“This bill, I hope, will never be implemented because its implementation envisions a scenario of power with forced inspections of all vessels by US warships. Such a power scenario is beyond comprehension, because it means a declaration of war,” Kosachev said.

According to him, the document, “like a huge number of other pies baked by Congress,” runs counters to international law.

“No country in the world and no international organization, primarily the UN, has authorized the US to monitor the implementation of any resolutions of the UN Security Council,” he said.

Kosachev called the bill Washington’s attempt to “affirm the supremacy of its own legislation over international law,” which he said is “the main problem of present-day international relations.”He was echoed by Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian Upper House, who specifically drew attention to the fact that the bill’ final vote was 419 to 1, something that Pushkov said “indicates the nature of the legal and political culture of the US Congress.”

“It is absolutely unclear how the bill will be implemented. To control Russian ports, the US will have to introduce a blockade and inspect all ships, which amounts to an act of war,” he pointed out.

He shared Kosachev’s view that Washington is trying to extend its legislation to other countries.

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