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Russia hits pause on retaliatory ban of U.S. imports

Vladimir Putin rests his head on steepled hands.
Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has taken a slower tack on legislation that would ban imports of a list of U.S. products in retaliation for U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs revealed ten days ago, per Bloomberg. The vote on the plan, which was introduced Friday, is now delayed until May 15.

Why it matters: It might just be a signal for the U.S. — the Kremlin has not announced whether it backs the legislation, and per Reuters, the “Russian parliament is often used to send assertive messages to foreign states, but these do not always translate into concrete measures.” This comes the same day President Trump walked back threats of imposing more sanctions on Russia.

Details: The economic measures in the Russian legislation would ban imports of American farm, pharmaceutical, and technology products, restrict Russian cooperation with the U.S. on aviation, space, and nuclear energy, and introduce travel restrictions.

Alayna Treene 3 hours ago
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Photos: Mike Pompeo poses with Kim Jong-un

Hours after Mike Pompeo was confirmed as the 70th secretary of state, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders sent out a congratulatory tweet with new photos of him shaking hands with Kim Jong-un from their Easter weekend meeting.

Timing: The photos were released ahead of an anticipated summit between the president and the North Korean leader, who Trump said has been "very open" and "very honorable" to potential talks.

Khorri Atkinson 3 hours ago
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Armenia to choose new leader after protests forced out PM

Armenia's former president Serzh Sarkisian at a session of parliament in Yerevan.
Armenia's former president Serzh Sarkisian, who resigned this week, at a session of parliament in Yerevan. Photo: Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images

Just three days after protests forced Serzh Sarksyan to resign as Armenia’s prime minister, the country’s parliament said Thursday it will hold a special session to choose a new leader on May 1, The Guardian reports.

Why it matters: This is a major victory for the opposition party, and opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan appears to be the favorite. But the ruling Republican party holds a majority of seats under acting prime minister Karen Karapetyan. Sargsyan, who served for more than a decade as the country’s president, sparked a wave of demonstrations after taking on the role of prime minister.