The sanctions bill targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea that the United States Congress passed almost unanimously in the last week of July is a flagrant violation not only of international law, in that it decrees that U.S. law must also apply to sovereign foreign countries, but also of the American Constitution, as it severely narrows the President’s power to define and carry out foreign policy. The intent of the bill is clearly to torpedo the Trump Administration’s efforts to improve relations with Russia. That, in turn, seriously heightens the danger of thermonuclear world war.
In the last week of July, the United States Congress passed the Iran-Russia-North Korea sanctions bill quasi unanimously (419-3 in the House of Representatives and 98-2 in the Senate). The intent of the bill is clearly to put the United States back into direct confrontation with Russia and to seriously weaken the President’s power to carry out foreign policy, as provided under the Constitution.
The sanctions just adopted by both houses of the U.S. Congress, which would punish any companies involved in building infrastructure to facilitate Russian energy exports, including the Nord Stream 2, would severely harm the entire European economy, in addition to promoting outright economic and trade war. The protests have been been widespread across the political spectrum, in particular in Germany and Austria, which need the pipeline projects to ensure energy security.
As a likely spillover of U.S. President Trump’s attempt to establish constructive relations with Russia, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called for a a “new detente” policy in an interview with Focus magazine of July 16.
Developments over the past few weeks indicate that the United States may now be responding to the call to accept China’s offer to join the New Silk Road. President Trump and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met at the White House on June 22, after which Yang stated, according to a statement by the Beijing Foreign Ministry, that the U.S. President was willing to cooperate with China on projects related to its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
As it now stands, it appears that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin intend to hold their first meeting on the sidelines of the July 7-8 G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. But opposition to such a meeting is reportedly exceedingly strong not only among the trans-Atlantic Establishment elite, but also within the Trump Administration itself.
Former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock, who is also a leading scholar on Russia, warned in a post on his website March 4, that the U.S. threatens to become a “police state.” In reference to the assumption by so many media and politicians that any contact that President Trump’s supporters may have had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and other Russian diplomats is questionable or even illegal, he writes:
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CIA Director John Brennan, political figures in both parties, as well as the mainstream U.S. media have still not tired of blaming Hillary Clinton’s loss of the presidential election on “hacking” by Russian intelligence and President Putin. Brennan claimed that “there is a strong consensus [among intel chiefs] on the scope, nature and intent of Russian interference in our presidential elections.”