"It is clear to me that a Democrats administration will be more hawkish on foreign policy in general and especially toward Russia," Taher said, recalling the Democrats harsh stance on Russia during the events in Ukraine back in 2014 as well as their claims about the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Relations between Moscow and Washington deteriorated in 2014 under the administration of then-US President Barack Obama during the crisis in Ukraine, when Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow. Since then, the United States has expanded and tightened the sanctions regime following accusations of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering in Ukraine and in the US political system.
"This election is, apparently, used to achieve several goals domestically and internationally. We can clearly see that Russia again is being accused with interference in addition to a new propaganda accusing Iran with the same. Those accusations are grounds for more escalations on different levels including new sanctions on both nations," he said, referring to new claims of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2020 US presidential vote. Moscow also brushes off all accusations.
When asked whether Biden potentially has to make a New START treaty with Russia, Taher replied that it was not clear how a Biden administration would move forward with nuclear treaties in general.
During the presidential campaign, Biden has committed to renewing the New START treaty, which is now the only remaining arms control pact between the US and Russia. The deal expires on February 5, 2021.
"The Russiagate theory in my opinion pushed the Trump administration to withdraw from the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces ] treaty, but such pressure will not be present with the Biden administration. All I can say here is, they might be willing to negotiate its renewal, but I think their policy in Syria will impact these negotiations," Taher said.
Speaking about possible confrontations between Russia and the US, Taher did not rule out such spots as Syria and Venezuela.
"I expect to see more confrontation and escalation with Russia in the Middle East (Syria) and with regard to Venezuela. Syria is a complicated project that the Obama/Biden administration carried out with bipartisan support. The push to stay in Syria after Trump attempt to withdraw was bipartisan also, but with more pressure from Liberals... We also saw the Trump was willing to de-escalate with Venezuela which is a project started under Obama/Biden that Russia," he said, adding that Moscow and Washington may engage in possible tensions in Belarus which is hit by protests in the wake of the presidential election which took place in August.
Meanwhile, Taher said he did not expect to see tougher policy toward China from Biden and added that his administration will likely pursue strengthening the relations with the UN, European Union and NATO.
US media outlets declared Biden's victory over Donald Trump in the recent presidential election. However, the incumbent president has yet to concede defeat, claiming electoral fraud, and government bodies have yet to initiate the transfer of power. While Trump is pledging to file lawsuits in states where he and his administration believe that voter fraud took place, many media and politicians speculate which course the new Democrat administration will take and in particular toward Russia.
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