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'No logical reason: US sanctions on Moscow about internal politics, not Skripal case'

Although the US says it is sanctioning Moscow over the Sergei Skripal case, the measures are actually due to internal US politics which have led to a "sanctions war" in Washington, writer and journalist Neil Clark said.

"It's quite incredible, it's completely wrong that the US has taken this step, because the UK has yet to produce any real evidence regarding the Skripal case, which took place in March," he said.

"I guess what it's about is the internal politics in the US, that Donald Trump of course has been under a lot of pressure at home for talking about wanting to meet Vladimir Putin again and his policy is a reflection really of how his business operates – he says one thing one day, one thing the next, to try to keep the various factions happy.

I think that's the way we have to understand this...there's actually no logical reason for them to do this now," he said, noting that the UK hasn't produced any new evidence or information about the Skripal case which would have prompted the sanctions.

Clark went on to call the Skripal case a convenient excuse, saying the US has a history of finding reasons to sanction Moscow no matter what. "If the Skripal case had not happened...then the US would still be doing this. 

There would be something else they would use as an excuse. No matter what Russia does, it will be sanctioned unless [it] does exactly what the US wants it to do in foreign policy," he said, noting that such a policy would include allowing Washington to do what it wants in Syria and the rest of the Middle East.

The current situation in Washington appears to represent a "sanctions war," Clark said, as there are clearly "competing elements of the US state." 

He went on to describe it as a "kind of game where everyone has to show how tough they are on Russia."

When asked about the next expected move by the UK, Clark said he fully expects London to follow Washington's lead.

"We've seen time and time again that the UK has responded very quickly; normally when the US introduces sanctions on a country or citizens of a country, the UK is normally pretty closely following that."

The UK has a good reason for sanctioning Russia at this time, according to Clark. 

"Keeping these sanctions going is always a very good diversion from the government. 

The British government has got a lot of problems at the moment, it's close to it would not surprise me in the least to see a new anti-Russian drive coming very shortly."


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