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Saturday, May 27, 2017

RISK Act: Yet Another Attempt to Make US-Russian Detente Impossible

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    RISK Act: Yet Another Attempt to Make US-Russian Detente Impossible

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    The new US draft bill seeking a comprehensive report from the State Department on Russia's alleged subversive measures against the United States is nothing but an attempt to irreversibly undermine relations between Washington and Moscow, Russian scholar Nikita Danyuk told Radio Sputnik.

    US lawmakers have introduced a new draft bill concerning Russia's alleged measures to undermine the United States, marking the return of the Ronald Reagan era; Nikita Danyuk, deputy head of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at RUDN University, considers the bill as yet another effort to make the US-Russian detente impossible.
    On May 22, Rep. Salud Carbajal introduced the Reporting on Influence and Subversion by the Kremlin Act (RISK Act), requesting a report from the Department of State on Moscow's alleged subversive measures aimed against the United States.
    The aforementioned RISK Act originated from a 1985 bipartisan Congressional requirement for the State Department to release reports on the USSR's measures to undermine the US image internationally.
    "The Russian Federation is deploying an array of military, cyber, intelligence, and economic tactics to weaken United States democratic institutions, divide Europe from the United States, divide Europe from within, undermine organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, and coerce partners to cooperate with Russia," the proposed bill says.
    Commenting on the document, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT and Sputnik News, noted that the draft legislation obviously belongs to the Cold War era.
    "Yet another congressman introduced another delightful bill that belongs to Cold War era…. Progressive political trends circa 1986. They are suggesting a bill, seemingly from the [Ronald] Reagan era, aimed against us. At least, not [Joseph] McCarthy," Simonyan tweeted.

    Furthermore, the draft legislation specifically mentioned RT as Russia's "propaganda outlet."
    "They have not suggested to arrest us yet, but I do not think we will have to wait long for it," the editor-in-chief of RT and Sputnik News noted referring to the bill.
    Following the US presidential election, Russia has come under heavy criticism from US lawmakers for its alleged meddling in the campaign. The Kremlin has repeatedly refuted the claims and called attention to the lack of any credible evidence to back the allegations.
    Commenting on the draft bill, Nikita Danyuk told Radio Sputnik that the real aim of the initiative is to make it impossible for Washington and Moscow to mend fences anytime soon.
    "It seems to me that this initiative is related to the attempts of Donald Trump's opponents to make the potential restoration of constructive relations and cooperation with Russia impossible," Danyuk said.
    According to the scholar, the "Russian card" has become the cornerstone of both US foreign and domestic policies: every time Russia is mentioned in the context of Trump's policy, the US president's opponents rush to play this card for their benefit.
    "We see that currently, a very influential and broad anti-Russian consensus has taken shape in the US. The initiatives [like the proposed bill] appear to consolidate this consensus at the official level and at the legislative level. Now they will try to prove officially that Russia is allegedly making efforts to drive a wedge between the US and Europe to influence their political processes, including elections," Danyuk suggested.
    The question then arises whether Trump will approve the bill if it is passed by US Congress.
    According to Danyuk, the US president will have no choice but to endorse the initiative.
    "I believe that this initiative also seeks to put Trump in an awkward position," the scholar told Radio Sputnik. "Given the atmosphere created by the US establishment Donald Trump simply can't afford not to sign it, not to approve this bill, otherwise a new wave will emerge over his alleged 'ties' with the Kremlin."

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