US sanctions against Russia, introduced under the previous President Barack Obama perhaps may be withdrawn in the foreseeable future. Such a conclusion can be drawn by analyzing received in recent days, information from the inner circle of the new head of the White house of Donald trump.
In particular, the journalist of the edition of Politico Susan Glasser wrote on his Twitter page that some of its sources reported about the preparation in the close to Trump the circles of the decree on unilateral withdrawal from the Russia sanctions.
The same news was disseminated and a research associate of the analytical center Atlantic Council Fabrice pottier, who wrote on his page in social networks: “the order of the President on lifting sanctions against Russia is already prepared.” Finally, these data confirmed senior adviser to the US President Kellyann Conway, who said in an interview with Fox News channel that such steps are associated with the course of the new administration of the country on “improving relations with foreign leaders and powers.”
And though trump said that to talk about the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions yet “too early”, he does not refute reports of the preparation of decisions on this matter.
Analysts believe that the normalization of relations between the two countries, which, according to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, in recent years “significantly degraded” should be imminent. This will benefit not only the two countries but will also be the key for solving most of the challenges before the world community issues and threats.
The attack sanctions
Its first attack in the current war of sanctions the United States has taken in March 2014, when unilaterally frozen investment and military cooperation with Russia, and announced the cancellation of bilateral negotiations and meetings. March 16 Barack Obama signed a decree that imposed sanctions against several Russian officials to freeze their Bank accounts, seizure of property and refusal of entry visas. Four days later this list was expanded, and in addition to the sanctions “network” hit the Bank “Russia”.
All these actions were the US response to the return of the Crimea to Russia. Further sanctions spiral just spun. America was suspended cooperation with our country in the fight against drugs, discontinued licensing of export to Russia of goods and services for defense purposes, severed cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
The prohibition also included consultations with Russia on missile defence, cooperation in the space sector (with the exception of the ISS project). Since the summer of 2014, sanctions were extended to the largest Russian companies, and this list is only expanding. In addition, economic sanctions were imposed against the Crimea on the territory of the United States were banned from importing any goods, services or technology of this Russian region.
In response to these actions by the US and EU countries, Russia was forced to retaliate. In particular, by analogy with “partners” were compiled sanctions lists including some officials. Also in Russia was banned the import of certain agricultural products, raw materials and food, were limited to the procurement of goods from some foreign suppliers.
A partial echo of the sanctions pressure on Russia was adopted and our country the decision on suspension of the agreement with the United States on weapons-grade plutonium. The resumption of cooperation in this sphere was considered possible only after elimination of the United States the reasons that led to the change of circumstances that existed on the date of entry into force of the agreement, including the lifting of sanctions.
The Legacy Of Obama
The theme of anti-Russian sanctions and their negative impact on relations between the two countries, Donald trump raised during his election campaign. Becoming a full-fledged head of state, he again spoke about it just now in a practical tone. In particular, in one of his first interviews to The Wall Street Journal, given by him in the status of the elected President, trump said about the possibility of lifting the sanctions against Russia if Moscow will support the U.S. troops in the fight against terrorism in the middle East. “If Russia really helps us, why would someone do we need sanctions?” – he said to journalists.
In addition, in an interview with British newspaper the Times, Donald trump said that he would agree to the lifting of sanctions imposed by the US against Russia, if he manages to negotiate with Vladimir Putin about a significant bilateral reduction of nuclear weapons. A representative of the transition team of the current head of the White house Sean Spicer said in an interview with U.S. television channel ABC that “Washington should think about the proportionality of the restrictive measures imposed against Russia in December”.
In addition, the environment of the current American President expressed the view that the Obama administration sanctions against Russia was to some extent directed against Donald trump. In particular, this position is shared by the Advisor to the current American President Kellyann Conway. “Even those who are sympathetic to President Obama, indicate that what he did is part of the measures which may be called the desire to “corner” the tramp” – she said the TV channel CNN. – This is not the way of the peaceful transition of power on a democratic basis”.
Time for new solutions
Economist Mikhail Khazin draws attention to the fact that the Donald trump has already made a few steps that can be interpreted as a desire to go to serious negotiations. “In particular, Russia removed from the list of “enemies of the USA”, and as a result our participation in conferences like the “new Yalta” is practically inevitable, the expert said. And here we can formulate the main and first forecast for 2017: this will be the year of the formation of negotiating positions for key countries, the potential of regional leaders for the future conference “new Yalta” and “new Bretton woods”.
A chance to normalize with the arrival of Donald trump attitude of Russia and the United States, the ability to “reset temperature” of the conflict, calls the current situation associate Professor, MGIMO Andrey Bezrukov. By the way, he knows the situation in the States as to their current activities for more than 20 years spent on illegal intelligence work in this country and even graduated from the School of public administration, Harvard University. Andrey Bezrukov was arrested in 2010 in the betrayal along with the other defendants in the case sent from the U.S. in exchange for four Russian citizens accused of espionage in favor of America and the UK.
According to experts, the current steps can be called even not warming: it is about the normalization of relations between the two countries. Thus, as suggested by Andrey Bezrukov, introduced at the time against Russia, the sanctions were aimed not only to cause our country harm, but specifically to undermine the position of Vladimir Putin.
“It was sent and the Western media attack: the objective was to split Putin from the people, to make a serious liberal opposition. The opposite happened: they misread the situation. This suggests that they did not understand the deep mechanisms of what is happening in Russia. Moreover, they are focused here, in Russia, on the opinions of those whom they could understand, people who think like them who were running to the American Embassy”, – said Andrey Bezrukov.
But according to the political scientist, the head of the Institute of political studies Sergei Markov, Russia should not “negotiate” with trump about the lifting of sanctions. “Our country is a great power, it is many decades lived under various sanctions the aggressors and so will live, – he believes. – If the sanctions are beneficial to the United States, shall leave them indefinitely. And let no one take offense, we will then consider them enemies and enter your retaliatory sanctions. Although we believe the sanctions are unjust and harmful.”
Sergei Markov believes that Russia should not sound request for the lifting of sanctions, and proposals in cooperation with the US political projects. “This fight against ISIS, the fight against international terrorism in General (and such cooperation of Russia and the USA, by the way, is impossible without the lifting of US sanctions against the Russian special services). This struggle against the spread of weapons and technologies of mass destruction. This assistance to Ukraine in overcoming the current disaster, which it were brought by the Obama administration. That is Putin and trump must work together to correct the mistakes of Obama, to commit follies are around the world, must work together to make the world better,” said the Russian analyst.
Shot in the leg
The absurdity of the sanctions, their negative impact on all participants in this process, is evident to all. It is also obvious that the ultimate goal of these actions of the West have failed. In particular, one time the ideology of the sanctions was submitted as a possible influence on the settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, including the resolution of the situation in the Donbas. However, the situation there, as you know, is not improving, people continue to die, while everybody understands that is guilty of this, not Russia, but Ukrainian authorities, systematically destroying their people and spitting on the Minsk agreement. Nevertheless, sanctions remain directed against Russia. What is not absurd?
That sanctions of the West give the opposite effect, rallying the Russian nation around their leader, said recently and Advisor to elected President of the USA relations with business Anthony of Scaramucci. Answering questions of journalists on the sidelines of the recent economic forum in Davos, he suggested that under the new administration, the two countries will be able to sit down at the negotiating table, to “come to a better agreement.” It is worth noting that the conversation about the elimination of the sanctions barriers with Russia, has long urged European policy.
In particular, the foreign Minister of Italy Angelino Alfano said recently in an interview with the newspaper La Stampa about the paradox in which “the country that was the most insistent on sanctions, the United States has comes to reconciliation, and those who paid for penalties major account – EU and Italy – remain as hostages. It is as if we paid receipt for electricity, and the light would then included America. This is impossible: as Europe we need to offer to Trump solve the problem of the sanctions together.”
Calling for the EU institutions to immediately cancel the anti-Russian sanctions, without waiting for that first it will make Donald trump asked former Prime Minister of Italy and former European Commission President Romano Prodi. In his view, Europe needed urgent “conteneur” anti-Russian sanctions – especially in terms of “revolution” in relations between the US and the EU.
At the same time Russia repeatedly drew attention to the fact that Western sanctions hurt not only our country, but also foreign partners who thus “shooting yourself in the foot”. “The Russian economy is an important sector of the global economy, – said Vladimir Putin, speaking at a recent forum “Russia calling”. – Therefore, those who do are hurting themselves in the end”.
These words of the Russian leader fully confirmed, and a recent study by the Austrian economic research Institute Wifo, the results of which were published by the newspaper Der Standart. According to the data, sanctions against Russia and reciprocal measures of Moscow has resulted in the 27 EU member States after the start of the sanctions confrontation was recorded in economic decline, which only last year was 17.6 billion euros. “Most of all suffered Germany (6 billion euros), France (1.6 billion) and Poland (1.3 bn), – stated in the publication. – The EU economy was worth the loss of 400 thousand jobs.”
The sanctions lobby without a fight, not for rent
However, I must admit – from the West no real steps, actions, decisions, intended to abandon the sanctions attacks, not yet traced. Moreover, according to the analysts, Donald Trapm in their desire for the resumption of cooperation with Russia could meet with serious opposition. The evidence is already there. Thus, recently it became known that a group of U.S. senators has drafted a bill on new sanctions against Russia aimed at financial and energy sectors of the Russian economy.
The restrictions may relate to legal entities and individuals investing in the Russian sector of extraction of hydrocarbons, including the supply of goods, services and technologies. At the same time, the US Senate expresses its wish to take such order that the President will have to negotiate with Congress any decision on the abolition of sanctions against Russia. According to the leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, a representative of the state of new York Chuck Schumer, many of his colleagues are not pleased with the “breadth of rights” now available at trump.
“We are ready to introduce a bill under which any decision of the President on the removal or easing of restrictive measures against Russia must be approved by the Congress,” he said in an interview with ABC, adding that the document was supported by a number of senators, including known for its anti-Russian rhetoric of John McCain.
To keep sanctions against Russia promises and a candidate for the post of Finance Minister the United States Stephen Mnuchin. However, according to him, the restrictions can be lifted if “Washington and Moscow will make a good deal”. For the preservation of anti-Russian sanctions until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements (the absurdity of this thesis stated above) stands, and the Prime Minister Theresa may, who, though acknowledges the presence of areas in which we need “to work directly with Russia,” but stressed the need to adhere to in relation to our country’s “hard-line”.
By the way, Russia in this plan, no illusions, no hope for a miracle or “leniency”. As previously stated the Chairman of the government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, the draft budget for 2017-2019 are laid out, including taking into account the preservation of sanctions against Russia. According to the Prime Minister, the assumption of the continuation of sanctions looks negative, but “it is better to start out conservative, not very favourable assumptions, than to rely on the more optimistic scenarios”.
However, Russia is ready for dialogue, violated the sanctions confrontation. As stressed in the past at the end of last year, the International forum “Primakov reading” Vladimir Putin, he wants to believe that with the election of the new head of the White house “will have a chance to build relationships, which is important not only for the peoples of both countries, but also to ensure international stability and security.” “The current poor state of Russian-American relations will definitely need to rectify. And our country is ready to take its part,” stressed the Russian President.
Author: Dmitry Sergeyev
Photo: whitehouse.gov/ a_small_larry/ Twitter/ Constantine Chalabov/ RIA Novosti/ Russian defense Ministry/ Alexey Ivanov/ TRK “Star”/ MediaPunch/ face to face/ Globallookpress