"I think President Putin is correct: We are seeing a battle of elites here in the country and it is all over policy towards Russia," University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said on Thursday
Boyle observed that in his testimony on Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was trying to negotiate with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a solution to the conflict in Ukraine.
However, Republican and Democratic hardliners in Congress, especially in the Senate were trying to push through new sanctions against Russia to destroy the new peace initiative, Boyle pointed out.
"The Senate just approved a new package of sanctions on Russia… We see the Democratic Party, the Hillary Clinton people and the US news media and it also appears the CIA and the FBI, the pillars of the Deep State are lining up against improved relations," he said.
The hostility against reducing tensions with Russia was reminiscent of the most dangerous period of the Joe McCarthy anti-communist hysteria of the early 1950s, Boyle recalled.
"NSA [National Security Agency] is doing all the leaking. They are lining up for continuation of the Obama aggressive policies on Russia. This is a very dangerous situation," he said
Tillerson made it clear in his HFAC testimony that on May 10 he was discussing Ukraine with Lavrov, Boyle noted.
"They are trying to set up a new process with Russia to resolve the conflict. Now it appears that Trump and Putin through Tillerson and Lavrov hope to take matters into their own hands," he said.
"But these elite factions are fighting back. They are determined to prevent it," he said. "That is why you are seeing this furious fight back."
Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law John Quigley told Sputnik that dominant forces in Congress in both parties are opposed improving relations with Russia.
"The US Congress is presently regarding the relationship with Russia as one of hostility. The US Congress is calling for more sanctions against Russia. It would be helpful if, instead, cooperation could be sought on the range of issues that confront the world right now," he said.
However, world peace would be better served if Russia and the United States could develop a common approach on Syria, Quigley suggested.