Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday the recently-signed sanctions bill sends a clear message that "Russia's destabilizing activities" will not be tolerated.
"By signing this legislation, we're sending a very clear message that Russia's destabilizing activities, its support for rogue regimes are no longer going to be tolerated. But, our hope is that it will lay a foundation for better relations with Russia," Pence said in an interview with Fox News during a trip to eastern Europe.
The bill, signed by President Trump on Wednesday morning, places sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The bill passed in the Senate and House with an overwhelming majority, but the President had voiced concerns about signing it.
"President Trump believes whatever frustration that we feel for Congress limiting his authority on foreign affairs, that, on balance, this legislation reaffirms the president's strong commitment to ongoing sanctions with Russia, to make it clear their destabilizing behaviors are not acceptable to the United States, and that ongoing provocations from North Korea and Iran will no longer be accepted," Pence said.
The bill would limit Trump's ability to relax sanctions without congressional approval. Some members of Congress have previously expressed unease over Trump's language praising Putin and his criticising of traditional allies.
"The president sent me here, sent me to the Baltic states, sent me to Georgia with a very clear message that America is going to stand with our allies, that America First does not mean America alone," Pence said.