What's Behind Warmongering US Senators' Call to Stiffen Anti-Russia Sanctions

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteSenate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door GOP policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., leaves a closed-door GOP policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington - Sputnik International
On Thursday, US President Barack Obama received a report from the US Intelligence Community regarding purported evidence of Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere with the US election system. However, even before the report was submitted to the president, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham proposed expanding anti-Russian sanctions.

Just Business

McCain and Graham have gained a reputation as hardline anti-Russian politicians in the US establishment. Their recent idea of new sanctions against Russia is logical part of their political course. Recently, they visited Ukraine and NATO, as part of a campaign to build bridges between those countries and the alliance.

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McCain and Graham are representatives of "military clans" making good money on bills endorsed by the senators, according to Sergei Sudakov, a professor at the Academy of Military Sciences.

The expert suggested that after Donald Trump inauguration as US president the US military lobby may change its leaders. McCain and Graham are now trying to secure leverage on the next US presidential administration.

"In the US establishment, the two senators are known for their hardline anti-Russian stance. They have established relations with military clans and arms suppliers. As a result, if they want to establish a lobbyist group in Congress, then it would be very difficult to lift sanctions against Russia," Sudakov told RT.

Experts also suggest that such measures are aimed at enabling bargaining with Trump on different issues of the military lobby.

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However, the duo is likely to face hurdles in promoting their initiatives in Congress and the House of Representatives.

In order to achieve their goals, they will have to win support from the leadership of the Republican-dominated Congress. However, Congress is expected to cooperate with Donald Trump in the near future, said Vladimir Vasilyev, a senior analyst at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies.

"If there is a considerable normalization between Washington and Moscow plans by McCain and Graham will not have a serious impact," he said in an interview with RT.

According to the expert, the recent proposal by the two senators could even help Trump and boost his positions in talks with Russia.

Hysteria Over 'Russian Hackers'

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On January 4, CIA chief John Brennan said that there is clear evidence to Russia’s alleged interference with the US election system.

A joint statement made by US intelligence, the US Cyber Command and the Pentagon read that Russia is a serious cyber-threat to the US government, its military and diplomatic infrastructure.

At the same time, even famous hackers describe the allegations against Russia as absurd. In particular, Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, known as Guccifer, says the claims are a fake.

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Speaking from prison in a Wednesday interview with Fox News, Lazar stressed that the allegations are "a fake cyber war" and that there is "hysteria" in the US regarding Russia stemming from the Cold War era.

Experts suggest that not all the facts and details on the issue will be declassified. If the evidence base of the report was made public then Moscow would be able to provide its arguments to rebuff the allegations. But this is not what the US intelligence community wants.

"If the report stays classified Russia can be blamed for everything," Sudakov noted.

Obama’s Role

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On Thursday, an intelligence report on the issue was submitted to President Obama.

According to experts, before quitting politics Barack Obama wants to engage maximum efforts to complicate further dialogue between the Trump administration and the Kremlin.

The allegations of "Russia-sponsored hacker attacks" on the US electoral system is big part of the plan, especially taking into account the fact that they relate directly to Trump and his victory in the election.

Moreover, Obama still cannot put up with Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the election.

"He should have accepted the fact. One should understand that politics is changing and the world is different today. In this context, claims about 'Russian hackers' are a way to ignore the fact that the world has changed and the US is changing," Sudakov pointed out.


In his actions, Obama relies on the logic of politics. Trump is an advocate of the logic of economy. The president-elect is set to normalize ties with Russia, including lifting sanctions. At least, such an assumption can be taken from his statements.

Sanctions are damaging to the US economy, and as a businessman, Trump can clearly see that.

"The current economic situation is not good for the US. Sanctions are harmful for US business. They create additional opportunities for other countries, including China. The US business establishment has repeatedly doubted the efficiency of sanctions," Vasilyev said.

Trump’s approach is shared by many Americans. According to Sudakov, over 90 percent of US decision makers are not interested in keeping sanctions against Russia in place.

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