Russia cutting dependence on US dollar – economy minister

“There is a big trend toward the de-dollarization of the Russian economy. The central bank has taken some very important steps against loans in foreign currencies,” the minister said on Wednesday.

Data from the Central Bank of Russia shows 60 percent of Russia’s external debt in August is in US dollars, the lowest since 2014.

Experts say foreign sanctions and central bank policy are making loans in rubles more attractive than in dollars. Rates on ruble deposits are also more attractive than foreign currencies.

In June, Russia reduced its investment in US Treasuries by $5.8 billion, dropping to 14th place among the largest holders of the US debt with $101.9 billion.

However, while loans in rubles are becoming more popular, it’s too soon to say if the Russian economy is ready to live without dollars.

“You need to look at the share of foreign currency deposits. In retail, there is no big decline, the share of foreign currency deposits remains at 23 percent, it is quite stable over the past year,” said Alfa-Bank chief economist Natalia Orlova in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the Russian government would intensify efforts to cut the country’s dependence on US payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly urged the economy and finance ministries to cut dollar dependence in the Russian economy as relations between Moscow and Washington have soured.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/399790-russia-ruble-dollar-economy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Russia to resume training of female military pilots after numerous applications

“There are so many young women who want to become military pilots. We receive hundreds of letters [from them],” Shoigu told journalists.

“Therefore, we decided that this year we’ll recruit the first group of women to the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School,” he added.

Fifteen female cadets will begin their training program to become military pilots on October 1, Shoigu said.

“There will not be many of them… but given the number of applications received to the Air Force, we can’t ignore those requests,” he said.

Shoigu, who was attending the celebrations of the Russian Air Force at Patriot Park outside Moscow on Saturday, expressed hope that the female graduates “will show off their skills at a similar event” in five years’ time.

If the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School cadets fulfil the minister’s expectations, they’ll join a long lineage of female Russian pilots.

Lidia Zvereva became the first woman in the country to perform a solo flight and receive official papers as a pilot-aviator back in 1911, at the age of just 20.

She amazed the crowds behind the wheel of a wooden Farman biplane, survived a terrible crash that saw her thrown out of the cockpit, and later owned a factory that supplied aircraft for the World War I battlefields.

Many an aviatrix followed Zvereva’s footsteps in Imperial and Soviet Russia, with several becoming heroines during World War II against the Nazis.

Lidia Litvyak is regarded as the best high-performance female pilot in WWII.

She carried out over 150 combat flights, personally downing six Nazi planes and one aerostat, as well as destroying six more enemy aircraft as part of a squadron.

Litvyak died in a dogfight in August 1943, and was posthumously decorated with the highest state honor – Hero of the Soviet Union.

Marina Raskova was the commander of an all-female bomber regiment, which instilled fear in the hearts of the Nazi invaders.

Nicknamed the ‘Night Witches’ by the enemy, the female pilots used slow- and low-flying Po-2 planes. The machines were vulnerable, but also very hard to detect in the night sky, and provided extraordinary accuracy in bombing.

Raskova and her ‘Night Witches’ made 23,672 combat sorties and dropped hundreds of tons of explosives over the Nazis.

Another Soviet World War II heroine, Ukrainian-born Ekaterina Zelenko, is remembered as the only woman to perform an aerial ram.

On September 12, 1941, she was attacked by a group of German Messerschmitt fighters during a reconnaissance mission, with aircraft accompanying Zelenko quickly shot down.

The pilot was left to confront seven enemy aircraft and managed to destroy one of them. And when she ran out of ammo, Zelenko rammed another Messerschmitt with her own plane, killing the enemy and herself in the process.

Marina Popovich enlisted in the Air Force in peaceful times to become the only Soviet first class female test pilot in 1961.

She flew 40 different planes and helicopters, being the primary tester for five of those aircraft.
Popovich broke the sound barrier in the cockpit of a MiG-21 fighter jet, repeating the feat of American pilot Jacqueline Cochran.

Svetlana Protasova managed to achieve an audience with the chief of the Russian Air Force, persuading him that she was good enough to fly supersonic military jets.

She is only woman ever to fly a MiG-29 fighter, performing her fight solo flight in 1996. Protasova retired from the Air Force with the rank of major to pursue a career in civil aviation.

Svetlana Kapanina continues the glorious traditions of Russian aviatrixes as she defends the country’s honor in air sports.

She has been called the Russian Valkyrie and Queen of Heaven after claiming seven absolute world champion’s titles, winning the World Air Games twice and being crowned world champ a further 39 times in various individual events.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/399454-russia-female-military-pilots/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

North Korea, Red Russia and Red China

Christopher Jon Bjerknes

Red China and Red Russia are piling up troops along their borders with North Korea. The American media are telling us that they are doing this to seal off the border in case the US strikes and there is a massive flood of refugees across those borders. That is obvious nonsense.

The Red Chinese and Red Russians are lining up their troops as a threat to the USA and to show support for their ally North Korea, which has repeatedly threatened to wage nuclear war against America. Those troops are there to attack Americans, South Koreans and Japanese, not repel fellow communists. They are there to prevent a conventional war and encourage a nuclear war.

Why does our government continue to deny the reality that Red China and Red Russia are our enemies, as much as is their client State North Korea?

Why doesn’t President Trump tell the Red Chinese and Red Russians to withdraw their troops from the border starting within 12 hours, or the American government will order the expulsion of all Chinese and Russians within our borders? Better yet, why doesn’t he order the expulsion of all Chinese and Russians and halt all their banking operations within our ability to do so? They have made it very clear that they are our enemy.

I suspect the Trump administration is about to mirror the North Koreans in their approach. They will want to see what the North Koreans, Chinese and Russians do if it appears that war is imminent. Trump may tell North Korea it has 24 hours to surrender unconditionally, or face nuclear annihilation, but then again, maybe not, or, maybe, it will be a bombing raid, or perhaps nothing will happen. Then we will watch what happens. They might do this once, twice, or three times, and then strike.

The pressure should be put on Red China and Red Russia who are doing this to us. We should no longer fund their military build up. We should no longer tolerate their games. We should remind Red China that we have the nuclear arsenal to obliterate them, and then see what Red Russia says and does. The communists have made the rules, let us play by them or perish from cowardice in the face of a weaker enemy.

And we should tell the Red Chinese to collect on their bonds from BRICS, because we won’t pay an enemy to wage nuclear war on us through its communist proxy State North Korea. Put them on their heels and bring them to heel. Do not let them pretend that they are neutral arbiters of our fate as they threaten our children with nuclear war. Fight back against them!

Source Article from http://jewishracism.blogspot.com/2017/08/north-korea-red-russia-and-red-china.html

Former Lebanese minister praises Russia’s Middle East policy that ‘saved millions of lives’ from terrorism

    

Russia has made an invaluable contribution to fighting terrorism in the Middle East, according to Wiam al Wahab, former Lebanese minister and leader of the Tawhid Party (Arab Unitarian Party), in a conversation with Sputnik.

“[Terrorism] is a very dangerous phenomenon. It would have ruined the Middle East without Russia’s involvement. I’d like to say that Russia has contributed a lot to maintain the current fragile balance in the region. Russia helped rescue our region from the terrorists’ embrace of,” Wahab told Sputnik Arabic.

He added, “The decision of Russian President [Vladimir Putin] to engage in Syria saved millions of lives in the Middle East.”

According to the politician, Moscow turned the tables on the Middle East, challenging the West’s policy in the region.

“Without Russia’s involvement the West would have continued to support various militant groups to destabilize the Middle East,” he claimed.

Moreover, Wahab pointed to the difference between Moscow’s foreign efforts and Washington’s foreign policy, including in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

“Russia has portrayed itself as a country ready for peaceful cooperation with any partner while the United States still wants global dominance. In particular, Washington uses the dollar and the UN Security Council as leverage over Moscow. At the same time, Russia uses its veto right in the UNSC and develops cooperation within BRICS to cut its reliance on dollar,” the Lebanese politician said.

Wahab stressed that the Russian-Lebanese relationship has a good potential for growth.

“Russia has reinstated its presence in the Middle East. I think that Moscow will stay in Syria for the long-run. This is why the Lebanese government should focus on developing cooperation with Russia,” he said.

Wahab is currently on a visit to Russia and, according to him, he will discuss the situation in Syria with his Russian counterparts.

“Stability in the neighboring regions would guarantee stability for Lebanon itself. All countries in the Middle East are interconnected and interdependent,” the politician concluded.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Lebanon has faced a number of security challenges. The Lebanese army and the Shia militia Hezbollah have been on high alert amid the conflict and have been preventing attempts by terrorists to gain a foothold in Lebanon.

On July 18, the Lebanese prime minister announced that the Lebanese armed forces would be dispatched to the Lebanese-Syrian border in order to fight against Daesh. Hariri explained this decision through the increased number of Daesh attacks on Lebanese security forces.

Earlier this week, the Lebanese military announced a large-scale military operation against Daesh along the Syrian border.

Currently Daesh controls over 54 square miles of Lebanese border territory in the mountain regions of Ras Baalbek and Al Qaafrom and 21 square miles of territory along the Syrian border.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/358959-Former-Lebanese-minister-praises-Russias-Middle-East-policy-that-saved-millions-of-lives-from-terrorism

Russia, US, Israel Talks on Syria

Russia, US, Israel Talks on Syria



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



In July, meetings were held in Amman, Jordan and Europe, focusing on establishing safe zones on Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan, according to diplomats involved.



Israeli Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, Mossad and IDF officials were involved. So were Trump’s envoys on Syria Michael Ratney and Brett McGurk. Alexander Lavrentiev and members of his team represented Russia.



Weeks earlier, Netanyahu expressed opposition to the Russia/US brokered southern Syria ceasefire deal, falsely claiming it “perpetuate(s)” Iranian and Hezbollah presence in the country near Israel’s border, “chang(ing) the picture in the region from what is has been up to now.”



Russian forces were deployed to Daraa in southern Syria to monitor and try enforcing ceasefire in the area, multiple daily violations still occurring. US-supported terrorists reject the deal.



Netanyahu’s real objection is wanting nothing altering longstanding plans to eliminate Syria and Iran as sovereign independent rivals to Israel’s long sought regional dominance.



That’s what his concern is all about, not Iranian and Hezbollah influence near its borders, posing no threat to Israel’s security.



Sergey Lavrov rejected Netanyahu’s concerns, saying they were taken into consideration in arranging the deal. It limits Israeli unilateral actions against Syria.



During Amman and European meetings, Israel presented objections to the agreement, unacceptably demanding the removal of Iran and Hezbollah from the country.



Days after tripartite talks concluded, Moscow and Washington announced the ceasefire agreement, rejecting unreasonable Israeli demands, indicating details were being finalized.



Russian upper house Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev said the Moscow/US ceasefire deal won’t be revoked to appease Israel. It’ll have to find a way “to live with this.”



The ceasefire said nothing about Iran and Hezbollah, instead expressed in general terms the need to prevent armed parties from foreign elements entering deescalation zones to be established along Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan.



US/Israeli talks continue, unlikely to change what was agreed on.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html



Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/223098-2017-08-09-russia-us-israel-talks-on-syria.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

MP seeks ban on free porn sites in Russia

I am asking you to consider the possibility of changing the existing way of operation of all websites specializing in erotica and pornography on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Milonov wrote in his letter to the ministry, quoted by RIA Novosti.

It is necessary to introduce a ban on the work of these websites in free access mode and also to introduce an effective age verification mechanism and a ban on unrestricted advertising of such websites on the internet,” he added.

The lawmaker also proposed blocking access to all free pornography sites in Russia before an effective mechanism of age verification is developed and implemented.

Milonov warned that current laws fail to prevent underage internet users from visiting websites with erotic or pornographic content, and that such content can cause psychological damage to children. 

He quoted several studies in psychology and psychiatry that stated that an early interest in sex could cause various harm to a child’s development and emphasized that children themselves could not evaluate these potential dangers. 

 

Milonov noted that a total ban on free pornography sites was one of the most effective measures tested by foreign nations to regulate children’s access to such content, without mentioning any particular country that has tried it. 

Milonov began his political career in the early 1990s but gained worldwide attention a few years ago as he lobbied the bill banning any propaganda of “non-traditional sex” to minors, usually described in the mass media as the “Russian gay propaganda ban.”

His crusade did not stop there – even after the bill was signed into law, Milonov continued to describe homosexuality as a bad habit or illness in interviews and suggested that it could be “cured” with fasting and prayer.

His other proposals also matched the staunch pro-Orthodox stance – such as a 2012 suggestion to grant human embryos the same rights as living persons or the more recent request to investigate Russian freemasons for possible subversive activities.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/politics/398963-mp-seeks-ban-on-free/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Ukraine’s Naftogaz may add $5bn to lawsuit against Russia’s Gazprom

“Under the transit contract, we are waiting for the decisions on our suits … Our claims already are over $13 billion, and we will claim $5 billion more,” said Naftogaz chief commercial officer Yuriy Vitrenko in an interview on Ukrainian 5 Channel.

The litigation started three years ago when the firms counter-claimed over supply contracts of Russian gas to Ukraine as well as on gas transit to Europe inked in 2009 by Yulia Tymoshenko, the then prime minister of Ukraine.

Gazprom demanded the Ukrainian company pay penalties over the failure to fulfill the ‘take-or-pay’ terms of the contract. The Russian firm said the deal obligates Kiev to buy a minimum quantity of gas annually or face a penalty.

As of the end of May, Gazprom’s claim totaled $47.1 billion, $34.5 billion of which was for gas not delivered by the Russian company in 2012-2016.

The Ukrainian company wants Gazprom to change the gas prices, to refund the excess paid as prices and transit fees were not renegotiated, and lift the ban on the resale of gas.

In May, the arbitration court in Stockholm delivered a provisional decision, which Ukraine claimed upheld most of Naftogaz’s claims. However, Gazprom said the ruling was balanced in favor of Russia.

Vitrenko has warned that losing the case in the Stockholm court would lead to the Ukrainian company filing for bankruptcy.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/398962-naftogaz-five-billion-suit-gazprom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Lavrov details Russia’s response to US sanctions in meeting with Tillerson

At a meeting on the sidelines of an ASEAN regional security summit in Manila, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raised the issue of Moscow’s response to the new round of sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Sunday.

“He was interested, first of all, in the details of those decisions that we had been forced to take in response to the adopted anti-Russian bill passed by the US Congress,” Lavrov said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

“We gave him the explanations,” Lavrov told reporters following the meeting.

“Lavrov pointed out that the US law on sanctions against Russia has become another link in the chain of steps unfriendly and dangerous for international stability, striking a powerful blow to the prospects for bilateral cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, published on its website on Sunday.

“Naturally, such actions, including the illegal retention of our diplomatic property since December of last year, could not remain unanswered, and won’t be in the future. At the same time, we are ready to normalize our dialogue if Washington pulls back from confrontation,” the statement reads.

The explanations echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent interview with Rossiya 1 TV.

“He said it all there, explaining the reasons behind the decisions we made after long expectations that the US would not follow the path of confrontation,” Lavrov said.

“But, unfortunately, the Russophobic attitude of the members of the Congress prevented this from happening,” he said, as cited by Interfax.

Lavrov and Tillerson exchanged greetings and said a few words about their schedules for the coming days. After that, the press was asked to retire, but one American journalist managed to ask a question regarding Washington’s new sanctions on Russia. Both senior officials chose to ignore the question, however.

Following the US House of Representatives’ approval of sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on July 28 that Washington must reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people.

The US State Department responded to Moscow’s move with regret, saying that it was an “uncalled-for act.”

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the new sanctions bill targeting Russian gas and pipeline developments by codifying six of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders implementing sanctions on Russia.

Retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told RT earlier this week that the new sanctions are a clear attempt by Congress to tie the hands of the president, who publicly said he wanted to improve relations with Russia, and also stated that the new sanctions are short-sighted and ineffective as a foreign policy measure.

“It is intended to damage that relationship [with Russia]. I think it’s important to see that this is a Congressional act intended to damage Mr. Trump and his ability to conduct foreign policy,” Kwiatkowski said.

“They’re certainly attempting to limit [Trump’s] powers, and I think anybody who has watched American politics for the past six or seven months understands the panic that is present in our Congress amongst the opposition party and certain members of his own party. They’re very frightened at his ability and desire to execute power, to use the power of that office,” he said.

The new US sanctions will affect many sides, including the US and Trump, American businessman Paul Goncharoff has warned.

Asked whether Trump was catering to the American public and that they wanted to see him sign these sanctions, Goncharoff told RT that “If that is the case, it is a very sad state of affairs of what is America. It sort of underlines intolerance and lack of desire to get at what the truth is in fact.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/398778-russia-explains-us-sanctions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Grand Jury Subpoenas Issued in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe

Grand Jury Subpoenas Issued in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe



by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)



Special council/former FBI director Robert Mueller is part of a diabolical CIA plot to remove Trump from office.



Accusations of Russian US election hacking and allegations of possible improper or illegal Trump team connections to Russia were fabricated by John Brennan as CIA director – the plot against Trump continuing under Mike Pompeo.



A grand jury empaneled by Mueller issued subpoenas as part of his investigation into Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya – a private citizen unconnected to the Kremlin.



The meeting amounted to much ado about nothing. Yet it became a cause celebre to denigrate and weaken Trump for the wrong reasons.



No evidence suggests any improper or illegal dealings with Russia by Trump, his family members, or team.



Published emails between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya showed they had nothing to do with Russia. Issues discussed related to adoption of children and related charitable activities.



Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian government knows nothing about Veselnitskaya. President Trump is correct, calling ongoing Mueller, FBI and congressional investigations “a witch-hunt.”



Grand juries reflect deep-rooted Anglo-American tradition. The process originally served to protect accused defendants from overly-zealous prosecutors.



Though nominally independent, they only hear cases prosecutors choose. They’re lawyers like Mueller, involved in investigating, charging and taking people to trial for alleged offenses.



According to former prosecutor Paul Callan, impaneling a grand jury “is a serious development in the Mueller investigation.”



“Given the (he) inherited an investigation that began months ago, it would suggest that he has uncovered information pointing in the direction of criminal charges. But against whom is the real question.”



Law Professor Stephen Vladeck believes involvement of a grand jury suggests “prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by” Mueller.



Grand jurors can select witnesses. They can exclude ones they wish exempted, grant discretionary immunity and ask questions after witnesses testify.



Their job is to judge what prosecutors present, deciding whether enough evidence warrants indictments or exonerations.



Proceedings are conducted secretly. No one may disclose what goes on unless judicially ordered or permitted.



Anyone may be subpoenaed, and must answer questions unless a specific privilege is claimed such as lawyer/client confidentiality or self-incrimination.



Lawyers can’t represent their clients while testifying. Double jeopardy doesn’t apply to grand juries.



If prosecutors fail to get indictments, they need Criminal Division Attorney General permission to try again. Targets remain vulnerable. As long as he remains special council, Mueller can pursue Trump, his family and team members until kingdom come if he and dark forces backing him wish.



Zealous prosecutors can charge defendants on rejected charges or new ones, endless harassment  if proceedings go on long enough. In Mueller’s case, it can be months, years or in perpetuity as long as he remains on the job.



The ABA asks “(w)hat protection does a target have against witnesses lying to the grand jury (perhaps for leniency on existing or threatened charges), or against the use of unconstitutionally obtained evidence? None.”



Law Professor Mark Kadish earlier explained “grand jur(ies) (give) prosecutors extraordinary powers (providing) “incredible pretrial and trial advantages – especially where those powers are otherwise unavailable through authorized civil discovery tools.”



Notably post-9/11, prosecutors zealously sought grand jury indictments, manipulating proceedings to get them.



Is this what Mueller has in store for Trump, his family or team members? In the fullness of time we’ll know.



VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.



My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”



http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html



Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


Source Article from https://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Opinion/222899-2017-08-05-grand-jury-subpoenas-issued-in-witch-hunt-russia-probe.htm?EdNo=001&From=RSS

Lavrov meets Tillerson: Details Russia’s response to US sanctions

    

Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov held their first meeting since the US Senate voted to impose new sanctions on Russia, which responded with countermeasures. Lavrov said Moscow is ready for normalized relations if the US “pulls back from confrontation.”

At a meeting on the sidelines of an ASEAN regional security summit in Manila, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raised the issue of Moscow’s response to the new round of sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Sunday.

“He was interested, first of all, in the details of those decisions that we had been forced to take in response to the adopted anti-Russian bill passed by the US Congress,” Lavrov said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

“We gave him the explanations,” Lavrov told reporters following the meeting.

“Lavrov pointed out that the US law on sanctions against Russia has become another link in the chain of steps unfriendly and dangerous for international stability, striking a powerful blow to the prospects for bilateral cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, published on its website on Sunday.

“Naturally, such actions, including the illegal retention of our diplomatic property since December of last year, could not remain unanswered, and won’t be in the future. At the same time, we are ready to normalize our dialogue if Washington pulls back from confrontation,” the statement reads.

The explanations echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent interview with Rossiya 1 TV.

“He said it all there, explaining the reasons behind the decisions we made after long expectations that the US would not follow the path of confrontation,” Lavrov said.

“But, unfortunately, the Russophobic attitude of the members of the Congress prevented this from happening,” he said, as cited by Interfax.

Lavrov and Tillerson exchanged greetings and said a few words about their schedules for the coming days. After that, the press was asked to retire, but one American journalist managed to ask a question regarding Washington’s new sanctions on Russia. Both senior officials chose to ignore the question, however.

Following the US House of Representatives’ approval of sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on July 28 that Washington must reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people.

The US State Department responded to Moscow’s move with regret, saying that it was an “uncalled-for act.”

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the new sanctions bill targeting Russian gas and pipeline developments by codifying six of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders implementing sanctions on Russia.

Retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told RT earlier this week that the new sanctions are a clear attempt by Congress to tie the hands of the president, who publicly said he wanted to improve relations with Russia, and also stated that the new sanctions are short-sighted and ineffective as a foreign policy measure.

“It is intended to damage that relationship [with Russia]. I think it’s important to see that this is a Congressional act intended to damage Mr. Trump and his ability to conduct foreign policy,” Kwiatkowski said.

“They’re certainly attempting to limit [Trump’s] powers, and I think anybody who has watched American politics for the past six or seven months understands the panic that is present in our Congress amongst the opposition party and certain members of his own party. They’re very frightened at his ability and desire to execute power, to use the power of that office,” he said.

The new US sanctions will affect many sides, including the US and Trump, American businessman Paul Goncharoff has warned.

Asked whether Trump was catering to the American public and that they wanted to see him sign these sanctions, Goncharoff told RT that “If that is the case, it is a very sad state of affairs of what is America. It sort of underlines intolerance and lack of desire to get at what the truth is in fact.”

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/358487-Lavrov-meets-Tillerson-Details-Russias-response-to-US-sanctions