Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Senate Bill to Block Trump Easing Sanctions on Russia

Senate Bill to Block Trump Easing Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Senate Russophobes Chuck Schumer (NY) and Ben Cardin (MD) proposed it. Lunatic fringe neocons John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) support it.

Proposed legislation prohibits lifting sanctions on Russia without congressional approval, blocking Trump from acting by executive order in the interest of better bilateral relations, along with improved chances for world peace and stability - notions bipartisan congressional lunatics reject.

Other Democrats will likely support the anti-Russia measure overwhelming. How many Republicans go along remains to be seen. It’ll be Trump’s first big test on Russia if the measure passes both houses.

Will he responsibly veto it or go along? His action will show if his rhetoric about getting along with Vladimir Putin was serious or meaningless.

Hopefully he’ll do the right thing if legislation comes to his desk. He called US relations with Russia “horrible.” He said Americans against good relations with Moscow are “stupid.”

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he stressed. “Only stupid people or fools would think it is bad. We have enough problems around the world without yet another one.”

At his January 11 press conference, he said “if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.” Both leaders can cooperate in defeating ISIS, he stressed often.

He signaled numerous times about wanting better relations with Russia, both countries cooperating in combating terrorism. Post-inauguration, it’s show me time.

On Monday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a phone call between both leaders “is being agreed on. We expect that the date…will be agreed very soon.” 

A summit remains a way’s off. No preparations are being discussed so far. Putin indicated he’s willing when Trump believes the time is right. 

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “we see a lot of overlapping points on fundamental issues relating to the view of foreign policy objectives set out by Donald Trump.” They’re “closely intertwined with the way President Putin sees the foreign policy goals of the Russian Federation.”

Improving bilateral relations is only possible “on the basis of equality, on the basis of respect for each other’s interests and on the basis of a search for a balance of those interests,” Lavrov stressed.

Trump has many issues on his plate. Positive overtures to Putin would be an important turnaround from Obama’s provocative policy - reckless brinksmanship, pushing things toward direct confrontation.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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