While observers are weighing up the possibilities of the US-Russian rapprochement under Donald Trump, James W. Carden, the executive editor for the American Committee for East-West Accord, believes that NATO is likely to come between Moscow and Washington.
"NATO and Gen. [Philip] Breedlove worked relentlessly behind the scenes to pressure Obama to internationalize the civil war there by getting more and more involved," Carden noted in his interview with Epoch Times.
According to Carden, NATO will be Trump's principal antagonist should the US President-elect try to ease tensions with Russia.
"I think that it is not entirely realistic to think that Trump will be able to single-handedly pursue a detente with Russia," he added.
The House of Representatives passed the law on November 30 by a 390-30 vote (Republicans — 232, Democrats — 158). The Senate is expected to vote on the bill by December 31.
"The bill establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments. It places travel restrictions on personnel and consulars of the Russian Federation in the United States," the bill's summary says.
"I have a feeling that the US Congress attempts to retain the mythology of Barack Obama's epoch contrary to the new tendencies of the US policy… It seems to me that they are doing it to influence Donald Trump and restrict his opportunities for rapprochement with Russia," member of the Russian parliament's upper house Alexei Pushkov told RIA Novosti.
According to the political analyst, the Obama administration is trying to throw a wrench in the works aimed at a potential US-Russian thaw.
However, Migranyan expressed hope that Trump's team will adopt a more realistic stance toward Russia.
On the other hand, both Russia and Donald Trump have come under fierce attack from the mainstream US political-media establishment, as Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, noted in his recent interview on The John Batchelor Show.
According to Cohen, today's neo-McCarthyism is fueled by "self-professed liberals" and their leading media outlets, which "thereby betray a fundamental democratic principle — protecting, even encouraging, free speech in the form of minority opinions."
To complicate matters further, Washington and Moscow are still "on different sides of very divided global alliances," Joshua Philipp, an award-winning investigative journalist at Epoch Times, underscores.
"The United States is backing NATO troop deployments along the Russian border, has many disputes with Iran, and is backing rebel forces in Syria, for example. Russia, meanwhile, is opposing NATO troops deployed along its border, has close ties with Iran, and is backing Syrian government forces which are fighting the rebels," Philipp elaborates.
Meanwhile, in Syria the Obama administration continues to deepen the rift between Moscow and Washington: American diplomats refused to meet on December 7 to discuss the situation in Aleppo despite the fact that a few days earlier they came up with a plan which Russia supported.
"As for consultations on Aleppo, it's a detective story. On December, 2 in Rome, US State Secretary John Kerry asked me to support the document which the Americans gave to us," Lavrov told a press conference Tuesday, adding that suddenly US officials changed their mind and handed Moscow a new document that "changes everything back."
Commenting on the matter, Russian political analyst Alexei Zudin told Radio Sputnik that the reason behind that inexplicable behavior is quite obvious: as US-Russia relations become more complex, it will be seemingly harder for Trump to mend fences with Moscow.
And still, Zudin believes that Russia should continue its dialogue with the Unites States regardless of the American establishment's political maneuvers.