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