The Senate bill extends sanctions against Russia can destroy the project “Northern stream-2”.
The new American Administration continues to look for ways of rapprochement with Russia. According to the American media, U.S. Secretary Rex Tillerson has developed a new plan for the rapprochement of the USA with Russia.
One element of bargaining may be the return of Russian residences in Maryland and new York, which closed in December of 2016 by the decision of the Obama Administration after the information about Moscow’s intervention in the American presidential election.
The new plan Tillerson had today in St. Petersburg to discuss the Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of state Tom Shannon. But at the last moment the Russian side postponed the talks indefinitely. The problem is in the fact that private Russian residence referred to in the adopted Senate bill on Iran that significantly expands sanctions against Russia.
Even if Donald trump refuses to sign that carries huge political risks, in the Senate there are enough votes to overcome a veto. And when the draft becomes law, without the consent of the Congress to repeal or weaken the sanctions against Russia trump can’t.
This will significantly complicate attempts by the new us Administration to improve relations with the Kremlin.
By analyzing the results of the first meeting of the presidents of Ukraine and the USA “Today” reported that the visit Poroshenko in Washington coincided with the publication in the us media of details prepared by the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson of a new plan for rapprochement between the US and Russia, which consists of three points.
In the ground is supposed to convince Moscow to refrain from aggressive actions against the United States (referred to attributed to Russia sending weapons to the Afghan Taliban and the harassment of American diplomats in Moscow).
Second paragraph – work on strategic decision for the US issues (civil war in Syria, nuclear program of North Korea, cybersecurity and cyber-espionage). Tillerson expects that Moscow will not increase trade with the DPRK after the ban by China on imports of North Korean coal.
The third point – the achievement of strategic stability, which is the number of long-term mutual political goals.
Does the Ukrainian question in the new rapprochement, the US and Russia, is still unknown. Certainly, some details leaked to the press after the meeting, Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov with Deputy assistant Secretary Tom Shannon, which the Russian side has transferred, but not canceled.
According to experts, more recently, in meetings with some foreign leaders, including with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, trump threatened to solve the Ukrainian-Russian conflict directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, bypassing the Normandy and Minsk formats.
If his approach will not take into account the interests of Ukraine, according to the Director of the Institute of world policy Alyona Hetmanczuk, it carries serious political risk for the us President.
Especially against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the American presidential election and the adoption of the Senate bill on Iran with the amendment, which significantly expands sanctions against Russia. It must be approved by the House of representatives and then signed by the President. Veto, if it will give opponents and critics on Capitol hill, another reason to blame trump and his Administration in lobbying Russian interests.
Immediately after the adoption by the Senate of a bill on Iran that significantly expands sanctions against Russia in the American mass media there was information that the White house is preparing to draft their amendments. Among them, in particular, the rejection of the use of several new types of sanctions and the abolition of the rule that prohibits Trump to repeal or weaken without the consent of the Congress already existing anti-Russian sanctions imposed over the annexation of Crimea and military aggression in the Donbas.
Some experts suggest that the way the Administration trump wants to win for himself the time in which it can try to negotiate with Russia on key issues. A bargain, according to the proposed law new sanctions against Russia, there is nothing.
The Russian amendment to the bill on Iran includes:
ban American companies and individuals to enter into financial transactions with Russian banks in more than 14 days (now 90 days), and for Russian energy companies – up to 30 days;
the right of the President to impose sanctions against natural and legal persons, which are one-time invested 5 million dollars in the construction of Russia’s export pipelines or provided equipment, technology and services, and more than $ 1 million to the development of civil nuclear projects in Russia;
the prohibition of the provision, export or re-export of goods, services and technologies that enhance exploration and production of deepwater and Arctic offshore, and shale projects. Here it is stated directly that the U.S. will continue to impede the implementation of the project “Northern stream-2”, which undermines the energy security of the EU, and to reduce the dependence of Ukraine and EU partners on Russian energy, which Russia uses as a weapon against other countries;
the ban on investments in the amount of $ 10 million if the money will go to the privatization of SOEs in Russia or the purchase of Russian bonds;
the sanctions will not affect cooperation of the line, NASA and commercial space launches (in the production of American rockets Atlas V and Antares uses Russian rocket engines).
“Also, the amendment creates a Fund to counter Russian influence for the implementation of programs in the EU and the countries-members of NATO for $ 250 million, and to counter misinformation and support for democratic institutions. The amendment also requires the state Department and other Federal agencies to develop a plan to reduce dependence on Russian energy, which Russia blackmails Ukraine”, – said at the hearings in the Senate Senator”Republican” Bob Corker.
Sanctions against the “Nord stream-2”, according to the Financial Times will hurt not only Russian but also European interests. The European project partners Shell, Engie, OMV, Wintershall and Uniper has invested 9.5 billion dollars – half its value. At a joint meeting June 15, foreign Minister of Germany Sigmar Gabriel and the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern criticized the Senate bill.
They suspected US in lobbying for their economic interests in Europe, they say, by such actions the us wants to replace Russian gas to the EU on its slate. Soon to criticism of Gabriel and Kern joined the office Merkel. It is clear that German and Austrian companies have invested in the project “Northern stream-2” the billions now and protect your investment.
But the media already had time to think of Gabriel, and core their participation in the economic forum in St. Petersburg. And the German foreign Minister in the company of the former German Chancellor and long-time sympathetic to the Kremlin, Gerhard Schroeder even had dinner with Putin at his presidential country residence.
The partners of the USA in Europe still have time to think – the House of representatives sent a bill expanding sanctions against Russia, the assessment of the foreign Affairs Committee. Not for review, as reported by some media, namely the assessment. “This is the normal legislative process. On the website of the Senate means that the bill passed in the House of representatives. Logically, once there, it will first be referred to the appropriate Committee.
If after two weeks no progress is made (for consideration of the bill in the House of representatives – Ed.) of course, we can say that there is a covert struggle. Today to say that it is the failure of the adoption of this bill from the White house and the Federal in the House of representatives “Republicans” can not” – said the analyst of the Institute of world politics Nicholas Beleskov.
But if at the time of the Committee in the bill will make changes, it will require a second vote in the Senate. However, judging by the first vote, when 98 out of 100 senators voted in favor, the Senate and the presidential veto to overcome.
In the meantime, the Committee evaluates the bill, the Department of the US Treasury expanded sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities. the “Black list” was included in the catering company, “Concord” restaurateur Eugene Prigogine, whom the media called a chef Putin, Deputy economic development Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Nazarov, who allegedly engaged in financial support from the so-called “LPR”/”DNR”.
In the new sanctions list of the Department of the Treasury also includes organizations associated with the bike club “Night wolves”, the Central Republic Bank and the Center for international settlements of the so-called “DNR”.
Restrictions touched the notorious fighter Dmitry Utkin (call sign “Wagner”) and his private military company “Wagner”.
The Ukrainian media have repeatedly written that the security service banned him from entering Ukraine. “Wagner”, the leader of combat troops in the Crimea and the head of operations in Syria, last year came to his native village of Smolino, Kirovograd region, to visit his mother. Although the media walks information and evidence about the involvement Utkin the killings in the Donbass, and the capture of military units in the Crimea.
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