Congressmen collected dirt on Russia

Observers believe that the US administration will make the package of restrictions against the Russian Federation as sterile as possible. In the US Congress, growing fears.
The US administration is preparing to submit to the Congress a so-called Kremlin report - a list of high-ranking Russian officials and businessmen close to top management. This is required by last year's law "On Countering US Enemies Through Sanctions." Details of the report have not yet been disclosed, but according to sources in Kommersant in Washington, more than 50 people can become its defendants, and up to 300 people can become members of the family. At the same time, the Democratic Party fears that the White House will not apply sensitive restriction measures to Russians measures. In this regard, congressmen wishing to push President Donald Trump to more stringent actions published a 200-page report on the Kremlin's "asymmetric attacks" on democracy and their consequences for the United States. His main idea is the creation of a new global front against Moscow with the involvement of European allies.

According to the signed by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, on August 2, 2017, the law "On Countering US Enemies through Sanctions" (CAATSA), no later than January 29, 2018, the Ministry of Finance must submit to Congress a detailed report on which high-ranking Russian officials and businessmen can be considered approximate power (the so-called Kremlin report).

The drafting of the "Kremlin report" is only one of the additional restrictive measures against Russia envisaged by CAATSA. Recall, this law was initiated by the Congress, including as a response to the alleged interference of Russian authorities in the presidential elections in the United States. Contrary to the consolidated opinion of US lawmakers and special services accusing Moscow of trying to inflict damage to democracy in the United States, Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he doubts the guilt of the Russian authorities. He criticized CAATSA for the fact that the law limits its space for maneuvers in foreign policy - including in the Russian direction, but eventually signed it.

A spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Moscow Maria Olsen, in response to a question from Kommersant, when the "Kremlin report" will be presented, sent a reference to CAATSA. The source of Kommersant, close to the US State Department, assured that the document would be prepared "on time". Recall that in late December, the former coordinator of the sanctions policy of the State Department, Daniel Fried in an interview with "Kommersant" said that "the administration of the US President is actively working on this report." He added that the Ministry of Finance, the State Department and several other agencies, including special services, were involved in drafting the document (see "Kommersant" on December 25).

Information about the number and names of potential reporters in the report is kept secret.

Sources of Kommersant in US state agencies that do not work directly on the document, but are involved in the implementation of the policy towards Russia, believe that the list can include more than 50 people, and with family members (as required by CAATSA) - up to 300.

Specific names of interlocutors "b" did not call.

According to Daniel Fried, getting on the blacklist does not mean that restrictive measures will be automatically introduced against these specific people. "Nevertheless, the very fact of falling into this list increases the risk that sanctions will be imposed against its defendants in the future," he explained to Kommersant.

At the same time, representatives of the Democratic Party fear that Donald Trump will not want to apply to the Russians from the "Kremlin report" sensitive measures, so as not to spoil relations with President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, the Democrats have been saying more and more often recently that members of the Republican Party are not interested in investigating a possible collusion between the campaign headquarters of Donald Trump and the Kremlin.

To attract public opinion to their side, US Democratic senators released a 200-page report "The Putin asymmetric attack on democracy in Russia and Europe: consequences for US national security" (Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for US National Security ).

The purpose of the report was formulated in a speech to fellow congressmen by a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat Benjamin Cardin. Mr. Cardin, who in July last year played an active role in promoting the CAATSA bill in the Congress, also wrote a letter to the European ambassadors that was written in the form of an attachment to the report calling on the EU states to take joint action to counter the "Russian threat".

Speaking for the continuation of the investigation of the alleged Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, Senator Cardin this time underlined does not focus on the history of contacts between the team of Donald Trump and the Kremlin. He calls for considering the Russian threat precisely as a long-term factor of destabilization that arose long before the current crisis in Russian-American relations: immediately after in 1999 the new Russian leader was replaced by Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin.

The concept of the "Russian threat" at the current stage is interpreted by one of Moscow's most implacable critics in the US Congress: "The Putin Kremlin uses an arsenal of asymmetric means that include military incursions, cyber attacks, disinformation, support for marginal political groups, turning energy resources into tools wars, organized crime and corruption. " "Over time, the Kremlin has perfected its tools, and its attacks have become more intense and large-scale. If the US can not respond in time to this complex growing threat, the regime in Moscow will act even more shamelessly. He will continue to develop and improve his arsenal against democracies around the world, including against the United States during the elections of 2018 and 2020, "warns Benjamin Cardin. And adds: "Never before in American history has there been a situation where such an obvious threat to national security would have been so obviously ignored by the US president."
Allegedly, the intervention of the Russian authorities in the American elections was included in the report along with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the September 11 attacks.

Having come to the conclusion that the 45th US President Donald Trump does not adequately counteract Moscow, "hardly mentioning the threat posed by Mr. Putin's continuing attacks on democratic governments and institutions", the authors of the report urge members of the US Congress - both Democrats and and Republicans - to unite efforts, following the "long tradition of confrontation of Russian aggression". In doing so, they call for active action and Donald Trump himself.

It should be noted that the report prepared by a group of Democratic senators is not a draft resolution that could become a law, but merely a historical sketch of the Russian foreign and domestic policy extended to the format of a voluminous monograph, with a set of recommendations for changing the course of Moscow. In their study, the authors abundantly quote numerous expert reports prepared in American and European research centers in recent years, as well as materials from Western media.

Nevertheless, this is not just a voluminous compilation, which in fact is intended to become a reference book of the "anti-Soviet of our time".

The uniqueness of the report of Benjamin Cardin's team consists in the fact that the main accusations against Moscow on the Capitol Hill since the beginning of the 2000s have been summed up, systematized, visibly expanded, and structured according to thematic areas and key countries of Europe and the post-Soviet space.

Recall that when the systemic crisis in relations between Russia and the US was just beginning, a group of influential congressmen - both Democrats and Republicans - first came up with the initiative to exclude Russia from the G8. The idea of ​​a punitive action against Moscow, which seemed to many to be nothing more than an act of political PR for individual congressmen with no chance of success, was first promoted on the Capitol Hill by Democrats Tom Lantos and Joe Lieberman and Republicans John McCain and Chris Cox. However, several years later, after the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia was excluded from the G8.

In this regard, the authors of the new report on Russia actually call on colleagues in Congress to continue to set the tone for a new trend to contain Moscow, following the tradition that the sources of which stood a decade and a half ago, Tom Lantos and John McCain. However, compared to their predecessors, which were limited to appeals to demonstrative political gestures, such exclusion of Russia from the G8, Benjamin Cardin and his supporters offer a whole range of measures to contain Russia, coordinated with the Western allies and designed to build a "global line" of defense from the Kremlin.

Inside the United States, in particular, it is planned to create an interdepartmental commission to counteract Russia with the participation of representatives of the intelligence community, the State Department, the Pentagon and other departments. Its prototype should be the National Antiterrorist Center.

The authors of the report suggest toughen sanctions against Moscow and continue to increase pressure on Russia if it "does not stop interfering in the affairs of other countries." In addition, they insist on the need to collect and publicize compromising information about Vladimir Putin and people from his entourage. They also insist on publishing an annual review of Russia's "asymmetric attacks" on Western democracies.

The report contains a separate recommendation on the impact on the situation within Russia: "The US and European partners must continue to provide vital support to non-governmental organizations and independent media in Russia." The document notes that "this work does not aim to interfere in internal affairs, but simply supports the values ​​that are formulated in the Helsinki Act, which Russia has also signed."

Vladimir Putin, at a meeting with the leaders of Russian print media and news agencies, called "complete nonsense and delirium" allegations that Moscow interfered in the elections in the United States. "No collusion, no interference on our part was not," he assured.

At the same time, the Russian president stressed that "if they [the Americans-the Kommersant] always put their own nose in, they must be prepared to be able to meet certain challenges."

Then he added: "I ask that nobody understands me in such a way that we are interfering with something. We are not going to interfere. "

The press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the report of the Democratic senators, said that the accusations against him "harm not only bilateral relations": "They harm the US itself, because when it becomes an obsession it is not creates comfortable conditions for normal development and life. "