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US lawmakers have introduced legislation to require congressional approval for lifting sanctions on Russia, as a scandal over President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor’s contacts with a Russian ambassador continues to swirl.

The bill, introduced by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress on Wednesday, would give “Congress the responsibility to review any sanctions relief” before it takes effect, similar to how lawmakers granted themselves the authority to review the nuclear deal with Iran, according to Steny Hoyer, a top-ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives.

“It’s a serious matter of national security,” said Mr Hoyer, adding that he believed that it would have enough support in both chambers of Congress to override a potential veto by Mr Trump.

Mr Hoyer called it “important and timely legislation”, coming on the heels of Mr Flynn’s departure and reports that some Trump campaign aides had been in contact with Russian intelligence officials during the race. Mr Trump described the “Russian connection” reports as “non-sense”, in a tweet early Wednesday morning.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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