The US Department of State will continue to pressure Russia -

The US Department of State will continue to pressure Russia

The US Department of State will continue to pressure Russia

The Ministry of Finance and the US State Department believe that sanctions could affect Russia.

Washington is ready to continue to adhere to the chosen strategy towards Moscow until Moscow changes its behavior.
The current course of the US administration has made it possible to limit the ability of the Russian leadership to act as a "spoiler" on the world stage, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said at a hearing at the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US Congress. "By increasing the costs Russia incurs due to its hostile actions and involving it in the arms race, we force Putin to step back from the most optimal strategy for his behavior," he explained. The US administration is continuing negotiations on the possibility of imposing new restrictions against Moscow, Mitchell specified. The hearing was broadcast on the committee's website.

American sanctions have reduced Russia's resource base and thus limit its hostile actions, US Deputy Secretary of Treasury Marshall Billingsley confirmed at the hearing. He drew attention to the fact that US restrictions led to the collapse of the ruble, a fall in investment in Russia from abroad and raised the cost of debt obligations for Moscow. "We will continue to exert pressure as long as this behavior continues," Billingsley assured Congressmen.
On Tuesday, August 21, hearings on the policy towards Russia are held in two committees - not only in the foreign affairs committee, but in the Senate Banking Committee. The focus was on Washington's sanctions policy towards Moscow. In opening remarks, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Bob Corker, said Congressmen still did not receive detailed information on the content of the talks between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. In this regard, Corker said that he sent a request to the administration to transfer to Congress Trump documents related to the summit.

Corker and his deputy Democrat Robert Menendez asked the administration if sanctions could influence Russian behavior and what other methods of influence can be applied against the Kremlin. According to Mitchell of the State Department, detailed responses can only be provided by members of the US intelligence community - and only behind closed doors. Corker expressed interest in holding similar hearings.

At the same time, Mitchell appealed to the congress with a request to return to the executive authorities the freedom to dispose of sanctions against Russia as it sees fit. "We need the right to make our own decisions. We should be able to exercise flexibility, "he said. In August 2017, Trump signed the law "On the opposition to America's opponents through sanctions" (CAATSA), which provides for sanctions against Moscow and foreign companies cooperating with it. According to CAATSA, Trump does not have the right to lift restrictions against Russia without Congress permission.
During the hearings, US lawmakers also touched on the topic of dialogue with their Russian counterparts. Republican Rand Paul, who visited Moscow in August, proposed to loosen sanctions to allow US senators to meet with parliamentarians from Russia. According to Paul, the two countries need to keep the channels for dialogue open. With Paul's position, Menendez did not agree. He said that he did not "see the value of negotiations with the members of the Duma included in the list of sanctions who supported the annexation of the Crimea." "They must remain under sanctions until the Crimea is returned to [Ukraine]," the Democratic senator said. Paul objected that such a position is equivalent to blocking any opportunities for dialogue. "If we wait until Russia returns Crimea, then probably we will wait until the end of time," he explained.

21.08.2018 19:04:33
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