Congress now controls a process that is dangerous to both presidents – and the oligarchs, fearing targeted personal sanctions, are getting desperate
In Russia, propaganda-generated hope springs eternal, and no more so than at the news agency Tass. Europe is wising up to the fact that its sanctions policy against Russia is “senseless and futile”, was the quote on Monday from Sergei Zheleznyak, a member of the state Duma’s international affairs committee. You have to hand it to Russia: it pursues some goals relentlessly.
For the truth is that Russia would very much like to get rid of the international sanctions introduced after its 2014 military intervention and annexation of territory in Ukraine. They aren’t much discussed in Britain, but they matter. Those sanctions stand at the heart of the investigation into the Trump-Putin relationship, and whether there was collusion: Trump’s potential “Russiagate”. Seeking sanctions relief was part of the infamous June 2016 meeting between Russian emissaries and Trump campaign officials, among them Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state when sanctions were imposed. That was one of several important reasons why the Putin system and its army of hackers, bots and trolls worked so hard to undermine her, if not to aid Trump’s ascent.
Law firms have reportedly told oligarchs to divorce their wives and register their assets in their former spouses’ names
Related: How Trump walked into Putin’s web