Outgoing US President Barack Obama and his administration are trying to put a spoke in Donald Trump’s wheel, political analyst Vladimir Batyuk, who heads the Political and Military Research Center at the Moscow-based Institute of USA and Canada Studies, told RIA Novosti, referring to the latest sanctions Washington imposed on Moscow.
“Clearly Trump is the main goal behind the latest activities of the Obama administration. If he decides to lift some of the measures imposed by the outgoing US president, he will be branded as weak, ‘Putin’s agent’ and so on,” he said.
On December 29, the Obama administration ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities, including the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) and the Federal Security Service (FSB), over Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.
“The mood in the United States resembles the anti–communist hysteria of the late 1940s and the early 1950s, bringing sad thoughts to mind,” the political analyst said.
Batyuk was confident that Russia would introduce similar measures to those imposed by US President Barack Obama on Thursday, but Russian President Vladimir Putin decided against this step.
Instead Putin said that US diplomats will not be expelled from Russia, stating that he will wait until President-elect Donald Trump takes office to improve relations between the two countries. Putin also wished Obama a happy New Year and invited children of US diplomats to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties at the Kremlin.
Donald Trump praised Putin for his decision, saying that this was a “great move” and adding that he “always knew” that the Russian president is “very smart.”
Batyuk further said that relations with Moscow will not be the factor that determines whether the next US president succeeds or fails. It is Trump’s achievements in domestic affairs, particularly when it comes to economic policies that he will largely be judged by.
“This is what the fate of the new US president will depend on,” he stated.