18:38 GMT +325 March 2017
    President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Giant Center,  Dec. 15, 2016, in Hershey, Pennsylvania

    Why Obama's Farewell Sanctions are Actually a 'New Year's Gift' to Trump

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    US Sanctions Russia Over Alleged Interference in Election (38)

    The sanctions Washington launched against Moscow in the final week of 2016 became outgoing President Barack Obama's "New Year's gift to his successor Donald Trump, according to Derek Norberg, head of the Russian American Pacific Partnership.

    In an interview with RIA Novosti, Derek Norberg, head of the Russian American Pacific Partnership, described the latest US sanctions against Moscow as outgoing President Barack Obama's "New Year's gift" to his successor Donald Trump.

    According to Norberg, "Obama took advantage of the last chance to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia."

    "As for Trump, perhaps, the introduction of the new anti-Russian sanctions is a New Year's gift to him from Obama," Norberg said.

    He recalled that Trump has repeatedly signaled his readiness to normalize relations with the Kremlin.

    However, he said, "without new additional sanctions, the President-elect had no specific restrictive measures which he could cancel without witnessing a stern reaction from the Senate and the Congress."

    Norberg expressed hope that lifting the new anti-Russian sanctions will be easier than those that have been introduced in connection with the situation in Ukraine.

    "After his inauguration, Trump could use the abolition of the sanctions as the first step of reconciliation with Russia," he said.

    On December 29, outgoing US President Barack Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closing of two Russian diplomatic compounds and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities, including Russia's GRU (the Main Intelligence Directorate, comparable to the CIA) and FSB (the Federal Security Service), over Moscow's alleged interference in the November US presidential election, which the Kremlin has denied.

    In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed the tit-for-tat expulsion from Russia of 31 US Embassy personnel and four personnel of the US General Consulate in St. Petersburg.

    However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would not expel anyone as a response to US sanctions against Moscow over alleged hacking, choosing instead to invite US embassy staffers to the country's most exclusive New Year's Eve celebration, in the Kremlin.

    "Reserving the right to retaliate, we will not resort to the level of irresponsible 'kitchen' diplomacy and further steps toward the restoration of Russian-US relations will be built on the basis of the policy carried out by the administration of President Donald Trump," Putin said.

    Referring to the decision by US authorities to block access to a Russian diplomatic compound in Maryland, Norberg recalled said that this territory has been owned by Russia since the 1950s.

    "It would be logical to cancel these restrictive measures to avoid a possible trial initiated by the Russian Embassy," he said.

    Earlier, 17 US intelligence agencies had alleged that Russian hackers had attacked US political organizations' websites in order to help Donald Trump win the presidential elections.

    However, FBI Director James Comey said that the US government has yet to present evidence of Russia's involvement in the hacking attacks aimed at influencing the outcome of the US presidential elections in November 2016.

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    US Sanctions Russia Over Alleged Interference in Election (38)


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    • avatar
      double bonus
      ["As for Trump, perhaps, the introduction of the new anti-Russian sanctions
      is a New Year's gift for him from Obama," Norberg said.]

      Not a gift but a travesty that goes against all political norms of the US,
      and an international humiliation of the USA by Obama,
      for the rest of the world to observe.

      [Referring to the decision by US authorities to block access to a Russian diplomatic compound in Maryland, Norberg recalled said that this territory has been owned by Russia since the 1950s. ... "It would be logical to cancel these restrictive measures to avoid a possible trial initiated by the Russian Embassy."]

      This is definitely an illegal seizure or deprivation of property of some sort.
      Even if the sanctions are immediately reversed, Russia has still experienced damages of some kind from this [abominable] Obama political stunt, and
      should definitely sue for compensation, regardless of what happens.
      This type of behavior: stealing property for political purposes; is totally unacceptable to happen in the US.
    • avatar
      Evidence?! Who needs evidence?
      Never needed it before! Why start now?
    • avatar
      I work. I work among business people. They are smart, even some are educated. We all have opinions about anything and everything, So do the likes of Norbergs, et. al. Why can we afford to have theories? because we can and because we all have an ass that we can find with both hands. We belong in the same world with the Norbergs, et. al., God gave us that "belonging." At the same time, about the third or fourth cup of coffee, we should start to learn that we are all sounding alike, the small bits of brain hemorrhaging that still persist. I am sure, too, that before the day is out, "Sam" or "Tom" will send us all an email pontificating over a whole new idea based on a scrap of an old one. Someone will 'edit' it and the collective "we" will feel good about ourselves and think we can run for a government post somewhere. Me? with ideas like the Norbergs, et. al., I know I will still have my friends so we can keep shooting holes in them...
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      Obama some congressmen and the US intelligence agencies are all just making an ass of themselves. A truly embarrassing diplomatic disaster. It will take time, but Trump will straighten this mess out and Obama knows it. The press should be ashamed of themselves for supporting this assault on any hope for peace with no evidence in sight.
    • avatar
      Nobama is scandalously incompetent.
    • avatar
      Obama destroyed his credibility and his future in his last month of office.
      Since he is a Muslim this is expected.
      Perhaps he is trying to mimic radical Muslim suicide bomber...the last final screwup.
    • avatar
      double bonus
      Even if everyone expressing current opinions, starts to sound the same;
      well, that is always under constant adjustment anyways, and signals
      this news channel at least has its finger on the pulse of society.

      This is much better, that constantly arguing about different versions
      of contradictory past histories, and constantly demonizing your
      opponents as irredeemable deplorables or whatever.

      It seems like Norberg is simply trying to put a friendly spin on things,
      at least as far as Trump reversing Obama's sanctions are concerned.
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      If the press wasn't so worthless, perhaps they would pay a little more attention to what was in those emails and less on the alleged messenger.
    • avatar
      jyd22in reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, wow. Impressive
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply tojyd22(Show commentHide comment)
      jyd22, There are a lot of small potatoes in the 'pot' on here, and all worth 'eating'. Some could be in the same conclave of friends that we have, but are reticent to stand down when it comes to humility. In my group, we all 'pack' and everyone can shoot from the hip. If we needed an incentive that we we "born equal", the weight is about 8# with a 16 and one in the chamber clip. And as I said, none of us would have any problems eating the "small potatoes."
    • avatar
      Austrian School
      What a foolish opinion, Mr. Norberg!
      And now to Mr. Obama: Please cancel your farewell speech, it's going to be a most embarrassing event for your country.
    • choticastile
      Obama's on the edge of that dark, slimy hole he got his lackey's to dig for Russia to fall in ...
      But he's gonna slip slide into it himself ----- Bye-bye and good riddance!
    • choticastilein reply todouble bonus(Show commentHide comment)
      double bonus, So in other words, the Russian diplomats's diplomatic immunity was also removed? So that not even when Russia owns the Maryland property, were they allowed to remain there-- sort of under house arrest, so to speak? Scandalous and Shameless! Obama turning the US into a second Saudi Arabia...
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