Expert: leaks of Tillerson’s plan to normalize relations with Russia is not accidental

© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinГосударственный U.S. Secretary of Rex Tillerson. Archival photoExpert: leaks of Tillerson’s plan to normalize relations with Russia is not accidental© AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

The emergence of information about the secret plan of US state Secretary Rex Tillerson on building relations with Russia is an attempt by the White house to maneuver in its relations with Congress, the fact that «leakage» of such information in mass media may be traced to the decision of the Republicans in the house of representatives to slow down the vote on the bill on sanctions against Moscow, said RIA Novosti head of the Department of international organizations and world political processes, faculty of world politics of Lomonosov Moscow state University candidate of historical Sciences Andrey Sidorov.

Portal BuzzFeed with reference to a secret document of the U.S. state Department reported that Tillerson has prepared a plan for building relations with Russia, consisting of three main points. First, it is supposed to convince Moscow to refrain from «aggressive actions against the United States» and make it clear that the United States will respond to actions that, they believe, is directed against their interests. The second point is the dialogue with Russia on issues of strategic interest for the United States, including Syria and North Korea, and cyber security, writes BuzzFeed. The third paragraph of the plan stresses the importance of maintaining strategic stability with Russia. Under the strategic stability usually refers to arms control, especially nuclear weapons.

Secret plan

«The plan is classified, but the main things is repeating what was in Obama’s national security strategy of 2015, so that the great novelty he does not possess,» said Sidorov.

According to him, the first paragraph is, in fact, the continuation of the sanctions, the second talks about the issues on which Russia and the United States already interact. «The third point — strategic stability — the more interesting question, which may concern several aspects, primarily disarmament. But it is safe to say, puts the US administration in is a concept difficult. I don’t think this plan is something new, but leaks in the media about its existence can be called a part of the political struggle in the United States,» — said the expert.

He linked the emergence of information about the secret plan Tillerson with the decision of the Republican majority in the house of representatives to slow down the vote on sanctions against Russia, which earlier approved by the Senate, handing the document to the Committee on foreign Affairs to evaluate its content.

«To delay the process in the house of representatives failed is a good sign for the administration, but the main problem against this bill falls on the state Department. Please note that some of the persons from the administration has said that U.S. President Donald trump by itself is not against toughening anti-Russian sanctions, but the state Department objected due to the fact that you need to build a new relationship. Therefore, the «sink» that is preparing a document about building relations with Russia, refers to the political struggle with the United States: therefore, say that the state Department is working toward building a new relationship with Russia, given all parties both present and future relations», — the expert believes.

The maneuvers of the White house

According to Sidorova, the bill, which concerns Iran, but also Russia, the «hinder the administration, therefore, the appearance of such information on terms Tillerson refers to the political maneuvering of the White house in relations with Congress.» The expert pointed out that if the bill on sanctions is passed, «trump will be in a very difficult position — his line in relations with Moscow and Iran will be in the hands of Congress.»

«The fact that the state Department leaked this information about a secret plan, it seems to me, concerns the issue of conservation of the property free hand in foreign policy, because trump has no support even from their own party in Congress», — concluded the expert.

Tillerson last week said that the envisaged bill to codify the sanctions will deprive the administration of flexibility in the diplomatic approach to Moscow. Similar is the position taken by the previous administration of Barack Obama, despite the fact that Obama was the initiator of introduction of sanctions.

The bill on sanctions

The U.S. Senate by 98 votes to 2, approved last week new sanctions against Russia and Iran. Sanctions against Russia were «sewn» to the bill on Iran in the form of the amendment to expedite their passage to make possible the refusal of President Donald trump to sign the bill.

The bill proposes to reduce the maximum term of market financing of Russian banks under sanctions, up to 14 days, of the companies subjected to the oil and gas sector — up to 30 days.

The document also suggests that the President may impose sanctions on persons intending to invest in the construction of Russian export pipelines over $ 5 million a year or $ 1 million lump sum, or provide the projects, services, technology, to provide information support.

The US «will continue to oppose construction of the pipeline «Nord stream-2″, taking into consideration its detrimental impact on the energy security of the European Union and the development of the gas market in Central and Eastern Europe and the energy reform in Ukraine», reads the text of the bill.

The Senate also endorsed the amendment, which stipulates that cooperation with Russia on line NASA is not subject to sanctions. Another amendment to the bill reaffirms support of NATO.

Formal codification of sanctions in the bill to prevent the administration to change them, including to expand and cancel.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the aspirations of the United States to impose restrictive measures against Russia may lead to new sanctions the peak.