Moscow has refused President Barack Obama's offers to agree to substantially cut its nuclear arsenal and will surely reject Mr. Trump's, assuming the new USA president's proposal is a strategic hoax.
More serious, however, is the damge that removing sanctions would do to worldwide law.
But even talk of lifting the sanctions on Russian Federation, could revive the fight over their election hacks that Trump has sought to move past. If, for instance, Trump ends up lifting sanctions in exchange for Russian cooperation in Syria, the EO itself might not reflect that. Democrats and other Trump critics are waiting anxiously to see what the Trump administration will do on the issue of sanctions, especially in light of the intelligence community's finding that Russian Federation actors hacked Democratic Party email accounts in an effort to help Trump win the election against Hillary Clinton.
Trump is scheduled to confer with Putin by phone on Saturday.
Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) said he was "deeply concerned" that sanctions on Russian Federation could be lifted, urging Trump to "reject this course of action".
During an interview on Fox News on Friday, Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway hinted that the sanctions would be discussed between the two men.
Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, and Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine for almost three years.
A key Kremlin goal is the relaxation of Western sanctions imposed as punishment for the 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.
Trump keeps up his criticism of Mexico, saying it "has taken advantage of the USA for long enough", while a top aide plays down the possibility of Mexican retaliation that would cost American jobs.
The new Russian Federation sanctions bill, S. 94, which is backed by Portman, McCain, Graham, Rubio and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, was introduced by Ben Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks?"
It's unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would take up the measure.
And Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also expressed support for the sanctions. "I think they should stay".
Earlier this month, McCain and Sen. "And they demonstrated it by trying to mess around in our election".
The call will mark the first test of whether the mutual affinity between Trump and Putin will also open a new course for U.S. -Russia relations that were deeply strained under President Barack Obama.