The American House of Representatives approved four legislative documents one day at a time (three bills and one resolution) aimed at the Russian authorities and personally – Vladimir Putin.
The lower house of Congress, where the majority is now a member of the Democratic Party, is therefore sending not so much a signal to the Russian Kremlin (there are no illusions here), but to the White House. According to the legislators, Trump is acting inconsistently, not tough enough and late in the fight against Russia and the decisions already taken have not been fully implemented. The vast majority of Republicans supported the Democrats. The two sides can argue fiercely about how America should develop and what laws are needed for this, but there is consensus about the Kremlin.
For example, 427 congressmen voted in favor of a bill prohibiting the US government from recognizing Crimea as Russian, and only one vote against it. The resolution, which required an independent investigation and the imposition of sanctions on all those involved in the murder of Boris Nemtsov, was adopted with a margin of 416: 1.
Putin & # 39; s transparency
The Congress House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the Director of the National Intelligence Service, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Finance to report to Congress on the financial assets of Vladimir Putin – the Putin Transparency Act . The authors of the bill are two Democratic women from Florida, Val Deming and a New York Republican woman, Elise Stefanic. They note that the bill is not "interference" in the affairs of a foreign state, but the "protection" of one's own country.
After the facts presented by the Muller Commission and official allegations to Russian companies and individuals, including intelligence officers, Americans are interested in sources of funding for propaganda and subversion. "To protect national security and democracy, it is vital that we investigate and expose the Russian President's financial networks, stop the illegal financing of criminal attacks on our country," said African-American Congressman African Demoings. "The bill is an important step towards ensuring the safety of our elections … I am proud to be the co-author of the bill, with the aim of exposing Putin and his allies as they really are "Unfair politicians who undermine democracy (in other countries)," said Eliza Stefanik, one of the youngest members of the congress. Here and below: party, racial, religious, geographical and other differences of legislators only emphasize their common position vis-à-vis the Russian authorities.
Not so long ago there was no consensus about Russia. In 2012, President Obama, and with him, mocked all Democrats and many Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who made Russia the & # 39; most important geopolitical enemy & # 39; of America.
The rapid sequence of events that followed – the Crimea … and further down the list – convinced both Obama and the Washington political party that Romney was right instead of the 44th president trying to arrange a "reset" with Moscow. being overweight. "
As part of a legislative initiative, intelligence services, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the US Department of Finance must propose to the Congress not only the size of the Russian President's personal capital, but also other sources of income: holding companies, assets recorded for others to control and use.
To become a law, a similar document must be approved by the senate, after which both chambers agree on the text and send it to the president for signature. Trump & # 39; s attitude toward Putin is a source of constant criticism of the American media and political opponents of the American president. They recall that at the Helsinki Summit, the head of the White House made it clear that he did not believe the findings of the US intelligence services, but the words of the Kremlin owner that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Trump at the top in the Finnish capital wrote on his twitter as follows: "Some people hate that I got along well with Russian President Putin. They will go to war rather than see it. This will be the Mental Disorder Syndrome from Trump! "
Punish the murderers of Nemtsov
This task is assigned to the government by congressmen. The authors of the resolution, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, New York Democrat Elliot Engel and Republican Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, are convinced that "an important step has been taken towards justice". Congressmen urge government members to raise the issue of the Nemtsov murder at every meeting with Russian representatives. They call on the Russian authorities to allow an independent international investigation with the help of the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The US Secretary of State and the director of the National Intelligence Service are encouraged to submit a report on the circumstances of the Nemtsov assassination in 2105 in the Congress report. A House of Representatives resolution condemns Vladimir Putin because he blames him for "killing political opponents and harboring the guilty" for these crimes.
The call from congressmen to conduct an international investigation will be called "another gross interference in domestic affairs" and they will certainly remind Americans of Kennedy's assassination (as they say, what about – "look to yourself "). The law that bears the name of another without the time of a bygone Russian, namely the & # 39; Global Act of Sergei Magnitsky & # 39 ;, adopted in the United States, thanks in part to the efforts of Boris Nemtsov, enables Washington to enforce corrupt and human rights violators around the world. The State Secretary and the Minister of Finance have the authority to impose sanctions on those involved in the Nemtsov murder. A similar law was proposed in the upper house by Republican Senator Marco Rubio in Florida.
Another law with the long title "Restrictive Russian provocations" (the Keeping Russian Entrapments Minimal and Limiting Intelligence Networks, abbreviated KREMLIN, the Kremlin) was proposed by a Democrat from Illinois with the Indian roots Raja Krishnamurty and a typical Anglo-Saxon republican, Mormon from Utah Chris Stewart. The Director of National Intelligence Service, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense must review the relevant congress committees within 90 days and report on the intentions of the political leadership of the Russian Federation with regard to:
- possible military action against NATO members;
- a possible response to the expansion of the US or NATO military presence in Eastern Europe, the strengthening of US military support for allies and partners in the region, for example the delivery of "extra deadly military equipment" to Ukraine or Georgia ;
- clues in which the Government of the Russian Federation may use for its own purposes the weaknesses and disagreements between the governments of its "Western opponents".
Quote: "The United States does not want to be an enemy of the Russian people, they want peaceful, economically prosperous relations with Russia, based on democratic principles, where freedom and the rule of law are guaranteed for all." And here: "The United States is ready to defend their fundamental beliefs against Russian aggression."
National intelligence director Dan Coates recently praised, according to US media, Trump when he said the DPRK might never give up its own nuclear weapons. But Coates' assessment of the course of the Russian authorities: "We believe that Moscow will continue to expand its influence, including undermining the liberal international order led by the United States, dividing Western political and security institutions, demonstrating of Russia's ability to create global problems and to strengthen President Putin's legitimacy in the country. "
As the author of the bill "On the Non-Recognition of the Annexation of Crimea," the Congressman Democrat of Virginia notes Jerry Connolly (co-author, Ohio Republican Steve Shabo), a similar bill was drafted during the last three convocations of Congress put forward – 113, 114 and 115, but it was only adopted now, but unanimously.
Last year, with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the legislators approved an amendment to the military budget that prohibited the Pentagon from recognizing Crimea as Russian. Subsequently, Trump, who signed the law, was outraged that Congress had violated its powers as supreme commander and president and set conditions for the recognition of foreign sovereignty and the country's foreign policy. On the one hand, the new law prohibits the US government from recognizing the de jure or de facto sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea, its air and water space. On the other hand, there is a clarification: the president is given the right to make exceptions if "it is necessary for the interests of the national security of the United States".
Trump's opponents remind him of his inconsistency in the & # 39; Crimea issue & # 39; – & # 39; we must see & # 39; because people there speak Russian. And yet, last week, the president extended US sanctions against Russia, first introduced by Obama because of the actions of & # 39; polite people & # 39 ;. The US media quotes member of the Federation Council Alexei Pushkov, who tweeted in frustration shortly after the extension of the sanctions: "It is not appropriate for Trump to copy Obama. But copies.
Political Washington awaits the Muller Commission conclusion, Trump's opponents demand the publication of the text of the report "What is Trump with the Russians?" The liberal media and political opponents of the president are fueling the hype. The heads of the three committees of the House of Representatives – on intelligence, oversight and foreign affairs – sent letters to Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and the acting. White House staff officers, Miku Malveni, who want to report on the talks with Trump and Putin, also in the margins of international summits. Congress members also want to interview translators. According to the Washington Post, Trump accepted the translator's translations in at least one case. The newspaper, stating sources in the administration, reports that there are no longer one-on-one conversations between Trump and Putin. Anyway, on this side of the Atlantic.
Next week the House of Representatives will adopt a resolution expressing the position of the legislators: the Muller report should be made available to Congress and the public. The new Attorney General William Barr, who was proposed by Trump for this position, did not promise to publish a report by the public prosecutor Muller on the links between Trump & # 39; s people and the Russian authorities at the hearing of the Senate during his job claim. According to the terms of reference, Müller is required to submit a report to the Ministry of Justice, and the Attorney General will decide to what extent the Congress and the rest of the world will be informed.
The most important thing is that all the aforementioned House of Representatives accounts, as well as the Senate "Sanctions against Hell" Graham Menendez and other documents, still have to go through different procedural stages, and the ultimate authority to become laws – the Oval Office and Trump & # 39; s signature. He has a very different view of the Russian leader and the Russian authorities. But completely ignoring the unanimous impulse from lawmakers will not work either. Some of these measures become law, some remain on paper. But to call the bills "meaningless paperwork" (quoted from a Russian Federal Television television show) does not mean to hear and completely ignore the signals sent from Capitol Hill to Moscow and other world capitals.