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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a live nationwide broadcasted call-in in Moscow, Russia, June 15, 2017. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A new round of proposed U.S. sanctions on Russia is evidence of an internal political struggle in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during his annual question and answer session with Russian citizens.

The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday for new sanctions to punish Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and to force President Donald Trump to get Congress' approval before easing any existing sanctions.

Putin said Washington's policy of imposing sanctions on Moscow on various pretexts had always been to try to contain Russia.

(Reporting by Christian Lowe and Alexander Winning; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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