The administration of U.S. President Donald trump in the first weeks of its operation were ready to normalize relations with Russia, however, the appointees of the former administration of Barack Obama and staff members of this Department strongly opposed. It is reported portal Yahoo! News, citing several sources.
In particular, it is argued that senior White house officials almost immediately after taking office asked the staff of the Department of state to develop proposals for the lifting of economic sanctions, the release of diplomatic property, and other steps to get rid of tensions with Moscow.
Efforts to reduce or eliminate the punitive measures imposed by Obama in response to attributed to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and the presidential campaign in the United States in 2016, has alarmed some officials of the foreign Ministry. They immediately began to convince the leaders of Congress to quickly enact laws that prevent the administration to normalize relations with Moscow.
A veteran of the state Department Dan fried, until his retirement in late February, who served as the chief U.S. coordinator for sanctions policy, said that “the White house seriously considered the question of lifting the sanctions unilaterally”. According to him, in the first weeks of the new administration, he has received several “panic calls” from government officials who told him that they had been requested to develop a package of measures to lift the sanctions. They asked Frida: “Please, for God’s sake, can you stop it?”
Fried added that, being himself alarmed, contacted supporters on Capitol hill, including Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the minority in the Committee on foreign Affairs to urge them to quickly develop a document that would have “codified”, that is enshrined in law, sanctions, and difficult to Trump their abolition.
A senior White house official confirmed that the administration was considering a possible change in the sanctions policy against Russia. He said that it was part of a wider policy review that is still ongoing. Thus, according to him, the question in this case is not just about Russia. “All sanctions regimes there are mechanisms to facilitate,” said he, adding that the White house had hoped that “the Russians will take advantage of this” by agreement to end the Ukrainian conflict. “But they didn’t do it,” stated the official.
After the annexation of Crimea to Russia and the beginning of military clashes in the Donbas region in 2014, the United States and several countries have imposed financial sanctions against Russia, limiting investments in the Russian economy, a number of companies, the transfer of technology. Moscow in the answer has banned the import of certain products from countries that joined the sanctions.
December 29, in recent weeks, the Obama administration, the US authorities took the decision within 72 hours 35 to expel Russian diplomats, as well as close access to residential complexes in Maryland and in new York city. The White house said such measures were “a response to harassment of American diplomats in Moscow from the Russian authorities.”