Russia-US Cooperation May Renew if Trump Overcomes Congress Pressure - Lawmaker
Russia and the United States could restore cooperation in strategic stability, but the White House is restrained by Congress in its moves, the chair of Russia's Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev told Sputnik Tuesday.
As reported by BuzzFeed on Monday, with reference to a secret document by the State Department, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson has a prepared plan for building relations with Russia based on a three-point approach: to convince Moscow to refrain from "aggressive actions against the US," to continue dialogue with Russia on US strategic interests, including Syria, North Korea, and cybersecurity, and to maintain strategic stability with Russia.
"It is quite possible to assume that there is something concrete about this [plan]. Considering that the intention to change the situation with Russia has long been outlined and is only hampered by the cross-party anti-Russian consensus on Capitol Hill," Kosachev said while expressing doubt over the credibility of the so-called Tillerson plan, as so far it only exists as a leak by the media.
Kosachev continued by saying that there should be no obstacles to launching negotiations with the Trump administration, especially when it comes to the US legislature.
"There is a great risk that the White House will be hog-tied by the Congress…
This, however, does not keep us from at least starting a conversation, which has been virtually rolled up in recent years.
Let's start, and see what happens," the lawmaker said.
Before becoming US president, Donald Trump had on numerous occasions talked about improving relations with Russia and "fighting terrorists together."
However, upon winning the election in November 2016, his presidency has been overshadowed by a number of ongoing investigations into Russia's alleged meddling in the US election.
In response to Russia’s alleged actions, the US Senate last week voted in favor of new sanctions against the country.
Commenting on the US senators' initiative, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the new sanctions seemed to have come out of nowhere, as Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in US internal affairs.