Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Senate Scrambles To Head Off Good Relations with Russia

July 24, 2018 (EIRNS)—Their British masters hysterical over the success of President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senators Bob Corker and Mike Crapo, the respective heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees, announced today they will hold a series of hearings to discuss strategies “to push back on Russia” and its “malign behavior,” through expanded sanctions and other measures.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) last week tasked them to hold hearings on beefing up the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA),” the bipartisan bill which the Senate and House passed in August 2017, thinking thereby that they had blocked President Trump’s ability to do what he just did towards reestablishing friendly relations with Russia.

Buttressing this offensive, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Bob Menendez (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) announced today that new comprehensive legislation they are preparing to strengthen CAATSA includes discussion of “sanctions on Russian sovereign debt,” and increased sanctions on the Russian energy and financial sectors.

The Senators are playing with fire. Any such action to cut Russia out of the international financial system at the point it is an already-disintegrating corpse, will be answered by countermeasures whose impact these fools refuse to contemplate.

The first of the committee hearings starts this July 25, with a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing called “An Update on American Diplomacy To Advance Our National Security Strategy,” featuring Secretary of State Pompeo as the witness, to discuss the Helsinki Summit and North Korea. Hearings on the value of NATO, Russia’s activities in Syria, alleged Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty were reported to follow.

The Senate Banking Committee, for its part, will convene a classified Members briefing next with administration officials to discuss the impact of sanctions on Russia, as well as other hearings on what greater sanctions can be applied.

This, from a Congress which on a rare good day this year enjoys a 19% approval rating, because the only bipartisan action it appears capable of undertaking is against President Trump’s moves to crush the geopolitical order which has driven the U.S. into endless wars.

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