16:41 GMT02 December 2020
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    On Tuesday, US senators proposed piling on more sanctions against Russia, in addition to the ones already slapped on Moscow by President Obama in the twilight of his presidency. Political analyst Alexei Gusev told Sputnik he thinks it's likely that the new measures will be approved. Other observers just hope Obama doesn't decide to end the world.

    The new proposed "comprehensive" sanctions, favored by hawkish Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as well as Democratic lawmakers, would incorporate recently imposed measures by the outgoing Obama administration, plus new restrictions for companies from the US and third countries looking to invest in energy projects in Russia, or participate in the privatization of state companies. Senator Graham insisted to NBC that President-elect Trump "should let everybody know in America" that he's going to "make Russia pay," referring to unfounded claims that Russia interfered in the US presidential election in November. 

    The new measures would need to pass both houses of Congress before ending up on the President's desk for signature. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Moscow-based political scientist Alexei Gusev said he believes Trump will be forced to act in the same way as the outgoing president, in spite of his repeated comments in favor of cooperation with Moscow.

    "I would caution against a certain euphoria about Trump coming in and 'sort everything out'," the expert cautioned. Instead he suggested, Trump will likely be made to follow a policy similar to that of the outgoing president insofar as Russia is concerned, even "if not in such a tough manner. What else is there for him to do?"

    Gusev explained that Trump "will have to justify all of his actions to Congress, which is filled with many Russophobes. And they are unlikely to allow him to freely maneuver in relations with Russia. Even if he wanted to do so himself, he can't, because otherwise he will have the dogs set on him. All of this is just normal political maneuvering," the observer stressed.

    As for the new proposed sanctions are concerned, Gusev predicted that they will be agreed to by Senate majority, and that President Obama would sign them before he left office if they landed on his desk in time.

    Spiteful Legacy
    © Sputnik / Vitaly Podvitski
    Other observers are just hoping that Obama doesn't use his remaining time in office to do something stupid. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed her concern over the unpredictability of the Obama administration's actions on Facebook. With the incoming Trump administration set to take office nine days from now, on January 20, Zakharova warned that Obama now has just over a week to "destroy" the world.

    "Each day, I read the news coming out of Washington: new sanctions against Russia, the supply of MANPADS [portable anti-aircraft missiles] to Syrian cutthroats – completely nonsensical but malicious actions in all areas of foreign policy," Zakharova wrote.

    "God created the world in seven days. The Obama administration has that plus two days more to destroy it," she added.

    On Monday, the US Treasury expanded anti-Russian sanctions based on the Magnitsky Act, including sanctions against five Russian individuals, complimenting the measures introduced on December 29, which included sanctions against six individuals and five entities, plus the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds.

    President Obama lifted formal restrictions on the supply of weapons to US allies in Syria in December, ostensibly for the purposes of fighting terrorism.


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