Trump's sanction game
President of the United States Donald Trump is holding a political game with the Congress, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, said. The Russian senator explained that, declaring support for sanctions against Russia, Trump is making concessions to reserve the right to remove these restrictions.
"Declaring support for the sanctions against Russia, Donald Trump is making some concessions in relation to the Congress, seeking to retain the right to lift these restrictions," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
Dzhabarov also noted that the West is increasingly talking about the danger of sanctions, the business has long been looking for ways to circumvent the restrictions, creating new opportunities for cooperation.
Yesterday, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the US administration is "fully supportive of (current Iran and Russia) sanctions."
"What our concern is that the legislation, we believe, sets an unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress by not including certain national security waivers that have always been consistently a part of sanctions bills in the past," he added.
The member of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, Igor Morozov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, supported Vladimir Dzhabarov's point of view. "Trump is under the most powerful pressure of his opponents. Therefore, he does not oppose the sentiments in the White House that supports Russophobic attitudes in Congress. He certainly tries to maneuver in order not to fall into the impeachment zone, which has threatened him since the very first day of his inauguration," he said.
Igor Morozov drew attention to the fact that the Trump team varies widely. "The sentiments of some White House high-ranking employees are very anti-Russian, so the statements from there are not always relate to Trump's foreign policy line, especially since there is no such line with regard to Russia and regional conflicts, including in Syria and Ukraine. Russophobic sentiments associated with the continuation of sanctions pressure on Russia are obvious and supported by the Congress," the senator said, adding that the law on new sanctions against the Russian Federation will move forward regardless of the outcome of the meeting between Trump and Putin in Hamburg.
A senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, added that it looks like there is a dual power in the United States. "On the one hand, it's the president who has all the powers, on the other hand, the Congress, which tries to dictate its will," he explained.
The expert drew attention to the fact that there was not even a double but a triple confrontation of political forces around this package of sanctions against the Russian Federation and Iran. "This law became a stumbling block between the Senate and the House of Representatives, and together with the White House a sort of triangle of internal political struggle was formed," Vladimir Olenchenko noted.
This maneuver is part of the payment for the political will shown by Donald Trump in organizing a meeting with Vladimir Putin. "Many wanted the meeting not to take place. Also many wanted the meeting to have a confrontational outcome. It didn't happen, and politicians building their approaches to exploiting the artificial contradictions between Russia and the United States came out with persistent and unproven criticism of Trump," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences concluded.