With things on the flight

The United States announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats 35. The corresponding appeal on behalf of US President Barack Obama has extended a press-service of the White house. In addition, the Ministry of Finance imposed and other sanctions against individuals and organizations from Russia from-for hacker attacks aimed at interference in the election of the American President. Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to expel us diplomats in retaliation.

According to a statement from Washington, the measures taken after numerous private and public warnings to the Russian government and is required as a response to Russian attempts to “prejudice the interests of the United States in violation of recognized international norms of behavior.”

“All Americans should be concerned about Russia. In October, my administration presented our assessment of the actions taken by Russia to interfere in the American election process. Data theft and disclosure could be conducted only at the direction of the highest echelons of Russian power. Moreover, our diplomats in Moscow in the last year were under unprecedented pressure from the security services and the police. Such actions will have consequences,” — said in a statement.

According to the decree of the President, two Russian dacha complex in Maryland and new York, on long island, used by the diplomatic representatives of Russia, will be closed. The US authorities have stated that they are used for intelligence purposes.

Citizens of Russia will be expelled from Washington and San Francisco within 72 hours. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Russia from-for hacker attacks aimed at interference in the election of the American President.

The restrictive measures will affect the Federal security service and Main intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of defense of Russia. The object of sanctions become the company DH Security, “Special technology center” and Autonomous noncommercial organization “Professional Association of designers of Informatics systems”. In Washington, I suspect these companies in the financing of the attacks.

In the list of personal sanctions the names of the head of the Main intelligence Directorate of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia Igor Korobov, Deputy Vladimir Alexeyev, Sergei and Igor Lizunov Kostyukova, and hackers Alexey Belan and Eugenia Bogacheva.

President Barack Obama promised in the coming days to submit to the Congress a report on the Russian intervention in the election process through attacks.

On Thursday the Federal Bureau of investigation published a report detailing the technical methods used by the Russian intelligence services for conducting hacking operations against government and private computer systems in the United States.

New sanctions imposed by U.S. President Barack Obama against Russian intelligence, their managers and employees, as well as several companies involved in cyber attacks on American computer networks, will supply the administration of the next President Donald trump with a serious dilemma when it comes to the formation of the strategy of relations with Russia. Ask whether the Russian intervention in the American electoral process and the answer proposed by the Obama administration, the parameters of U.S.-Russian relations in the near future? This question is raised by many American commentators.

The newspaper the Wall Street Journal calls “impressive” response of the Obama administration that American intelligence agencies called the large-scale Russian cyber operations with the purpose to influence the outcome of the presidential election in the United States. Expulsion of 35 employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, sanctions against the FSB, the GRU and their leaders, a ban on the use of the Russian diplomats Villa complexes in Maryland and on long island, which conducted reconnaissance operations, sanctions against several firms involved in hacking operations — all of it was presented by the White house as part of the response to the unprecedented intervention of the Kremlin in the American electoral process and the harassment of American diplomats.

Decisive steps of the White house, which almost certainly will provoke an equally large-scale counter-attack of the Kremlin, was met with unanimous public approval of influential us lawmakers, not premiumship to accuse Barack Obama that they are taken too late. According to the speaker of the house of representatives, Paul Ryan, these late steps are appropriate the completion of “eight years of failed policies of the Obama administration towards Russia”. Ally Obama, the leader of the democratic minority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer has called the actions of the White house adequate “response” to the Kremlin and urged to give stronger resistance. Senate majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell called the new sanctions are good, but “late” start, calling on Congress to take the next step. To increase pressure on the Kremlin loudly spoke several legislators.

The reaction of Donald trump, the man, on which depends the future of the American sanctions, and the US strategy towards Russia was much less marked. “The time has come for our country to move on to bigger and better things, trump announced soon after the news about new sanctions, however, in the interests of our country and the people I will meet next week with the leadership of the intelligence community to get the latest information about this situation.” The Washington Post takes these words of the elected President as evidence of his disagreement with the conclusions of American intelligence. The newspaper The Wall Street Journal sees between the lines of statements trump the willingness to accept the findings of U.S. intelligence.

American experts in an interview with radio Liberty, called the sanctions appropriate response to the unprecedented intervention of Russia in the American electoral process. Former U.S. assistant Secretary of state David Kramer emphasizes sanctions against the Russian intelligence services:

— The FSB and GRU are among those subject to sanctions, this means that their employees will not be able to appear in the United States. Declared persona non grata 35 employees of the Russian special services, closed two of the complex, where the rest of Russian diplomats, since there was carried out the intelligence activity. This is a very serious step, which will probably be followed by a response from Russia, which, of course, took into account the Obama administration. We must not forget that in addition to the publicly announced sanctions will be taken discreet steps. The people around Barack Obama talking about the cyber operations and actions against certain individuals involved in cyber attacks in the United States.

— What do you think, did the Obama administration into account the fact that these steps would almost certainly doom the United States and Russia in a very bad relationship, if only Donald trump cancels his power this latest presidential decree of Barack Obama?

— Let’s be clear. Bilateral relations suffered a severe blow as a result of huge, unprecedented intervention of Russia in the American presidential election. These relations are already severely suffered after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea. But Moscow’s attempts to influence the election campaign could not remain without much response. It was going to happen, and it happened. I believe that such actions cannot be left unpunished.

Moreover, I suppose that even if the administration is Donald trump wants to repeal any sanctions, it will be difficult to do, because Congress likely will require to keep these punitive measures in force. We can assume that the investigation into the Russian cyber attacks by committees of the Congress will be new data that complicate any attempts to mitigate the sanctions and legislators authorizes new sanctions, says David Kramer.

William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Institute Kananaskis in Wilanowska center in Washington, believes that the sanctions mark a low point in U.S.-Russian relations of recent decades:

— The Obama administration, in imposing sanctions, has decided to publicly present its strategy of response to the Russian cyber attacks before she leaves the White house. She wants to call people who are responsible for these operations. It is very important which additional evidence will publish the White house as evidence of an illegal Russian interference in the election process in the next three weeks. It is clear that the actions taken by the Obama administration, may be thwarted by the administration of Donald trump.

But at the same time, imposing sanctions, Barack Obama partly drives the administration of the tramp in the corner. The administration trump makes it clear that she can lift economic sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s interference in Ukraine’s Affairs because they are not effective. But the new sanctions imposed by Obama, are markedly different from the previous one. Rejection of them would mean the rejection of Donald trump’s the result of the work of the American intelligence services. This is a big problem, it means the rift between President trump and American security services.

— Will you make the forecast, what strategy will choose the next President of the United States or it is impossible to judge?

— It is clear that U.S.-Russian relations are now at the lowest point. The question now is: will it do something the next US President Donald trump in order to change the situation. And if he does something, what will be the reaction of the U.S. Congress. There will be a scientific Congress in which the majority belongs to the Republicans, skeptical is adjusted in relation to Russia, to block attempts by trump to change something in the existing sanctions regime? This is a very difficult question to answer, because such attempts are likely to lead to a split in the ranks of the Republican party. And they want the Republicans to bring the case to split in the beginning of a new Republican administration, is unclear, says William Pomerantz.

The Russian foreign Ministry called the sanctions counterproductive and said that they harm the bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington. The official representative of the Ministry Maria Zakharova on his page in “Facebook” wrote that “today America, the American people were humiliated by their own President.” She also called people who “lived for 8 years in the White house or” the group “foreign losers, angry and narrow-minded”:

Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called the recent sanctions the U.S. decision “an aggression”, they mean the reduction relations of the two countries to a lower level. “Moreover, it raises profound bewilderment that fact that such acts of such destructive nature in bilateral relations undertaken by the administration, which is already about to leave. It definitely looks like unpredictable aggression”. Dmitry Peskov also said that Russia has no intention “to exaggerate the effectiveness of these sanctions as well as sanctions that have been voiced previously.”

The foreign Minister suggested Vladimir Putin to send 35 American diplomats, but the President of Russia decided not to. “Reserving the right to retaliate, we will not stoop to the level of “cooking” irresponsible diplomacy and further steps for the restoration of Russian-American relations will develop on the basis of policy which will carry out the administration of the President D. trump. Returning Home by Russian diplomats will spend the Christmas holidays with family and friends at home. We are not going to create problems for American diplomats. We’re not going to send. We will not deny their families and children to use their usual resting places during the new year holidays. Moreover, all children of American diplomats accredited in Russia, invited to the new year and Christmas tree in the Kremlin”, — said the Putin’s statement published on the Kremlin website.

Vladimir Putin’s decision to abandon the traditional in such cases, what is called a mirror response to the American demarche was received by American commentators as a welcome gesture to the President, Donald trump, who, according to many in Moscow, and in Washington, have quite conciliatory towards Putin. This decision, according to The New York Times, clears and Putin and trump the way to the statement that they are starting all over again is exactly what they both publicly urged. Newspaper notices, for example, that approval in relation to Vladimir Putin, the replica of Donald trump’s Twitter was a few minutes after its occurrence picked up by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

“Cunning” refers to the actions of Vladimir Putin Richard Weitz, a political scientist at the Hudson Institute in Washington:

— I think Putin is a very cunning man, it was a smart move on his part. I assume that this decision will increase his stakes in the eyes of the next us administration.

— Do you think that Donald trump in response to the signs of the visit, Putin will be able simply to turn away from evidence of what many have called a large-scale intervention of the Kremlin in the American electoral process?

— We learn about it only after trump will meet with the leadership of the security services and they will provide it with available evidence. It is possible that after the meeting he would thank them for the briefing for the good work, but I will say that, from his point of view, there is nothing that deserves a very sharp response. His reaction to this meeting will be an important indicator for determining the Russian policy of the administration trump. I understand that he, as President, will have the right to cancel the sanctions imposed Thursday by President Barack Obama. But such a move would be an occasion for harsh criticism of the White house from Congress, I suspect, the governments of other States. Still, though, it didn’t stop Donald trump.

— On Friday, Senator John McCain announced that the Senate will begin hearings on the issue of Russian interference in presidential elections in the United States, he said that Congress will toughen sanctions against the Kremlin. It is possible, contrary to, say, desires of the future President?

Congress, as you know, develops and adopts laws, but the case is complicated by the fact that the President-elect trump belongs to the party of the parliamentary majority. Congress was easier to resist Obama. This is a much more difficult task when the President is a member of your own party, says Richard Weitz.