1. ITV Report

Donald Trump blames Congress for 'dangerous low' of US-Russia relations

Donald Trump has been trying to improve relations with Russia. Credit: AP

The US relationship with Russia is at an "all-time" and "very dangerous" low as a result of Congress' decision to impose new sanctions on Moscow, Donald Trump has said.

The US president tweeted his comments on Thursday, as Russia warned the sanctions amounted to a full-scale trade war.

Last week Congress overwhelmingly voted in favour of the sanctions bill - which also imposes restrictions on Iran and North Korea - in contrast to Trump's desire to for warmer relations with Moscow.

Trump grudgingly signed the bill, without any fanfare, describing it as "seriously flawed" and warning it would tie his hands in any negotiations with Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the move was a way for the US establishment to gain a victory over Trump. Credit: AP

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described Congress' actions as a humiliating defeat for Trump.

"The hope for improving our relations with the new US administration is now over," he said.

"The American establishment has won an overwhelming victory over Trump."

He added: "The president wasn't happy with the new sanctions, but he had to sign the bill. The topic of new sanctions was yet another way to put Trump in place."

Medvedev emphasized that the stiff new sanctions amount to the declaration of an "all-out trade war against Russia," but added that it will cope with the challenge and only get stronger.

Donald Trump has signed off a bill imposing sanctions against Moscow. Credit: AP

"We will continue to work calmly to develop our economy and social sphere, deal with import substitution and solve important government tasks counting primarily on ourselves," he said. "We have learned how to do it over the past few years."

"Trump's administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way".

Donald Trump said the measure infringed on his powers to shape foreign policy adding that he could make better deals with governments than Congress.

The sanctions are aimed at punishing Moscow for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad.

The new legislation will affect a range of industries including the energy sector and might cause further damage to Russia's economy - already damaged by sanctions imposed in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.

As well as displeasing Moscow, the move has not been received well by the European Union, which has said the new sanctions might affect its energy security.

Russia has denied meddling in the US presidential elections while President Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the view of US intelligence that Russia sought to tip the November 2016 election in his favour.