Trump Looking for Personal Profit by Approving Sanctions, Says Russian Legislator

MOSCOW - Head of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has said that US President Donald Trump’s zeal to impose additional sanctions for American election meddling indicates that he seeks to profit from the situation for himself and his country and carve out a monopoly on setting cyberspace rules for Washington’s benefit.

Trump earlier signed an executive order slapping sanctions against organizations and individuals abroad for attempts to meddle in US elections.

 "In this particular case, Trump is trying to make the most of the situation for himself and America. The subject of ‘foreign’ meddling, focusing on social networks and cyberspace generally linked to the election campaign, fake news stories and propaganda - all that is a convenient pretext for casus belli (a formal reason to declare war - TASS), for all kinds of sanctions and other measures that can be portrayed as countermoves," Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday.

He stressed that the sanctions zeal in the US is reaching its climax, because this time the president imposed sanctions for what has not even happened yet - for future meddling in US elections. The senator also suggested that considering the experience now available there will be no need to furnish convincing evidence, because all that will be needed for the US agencies in charge is "to find a couple of blog posts with the slightest relevance to America’s current realities. In his view, this would permit the addition of one more line to the history of the most stringent restrictive measures levied by any US president to date.

According to Kosachev, there is another underlying reason for Trump’s executive order. "An American official said that the US administration wanted to establish new cyberspace norms. That means that Washington is trying to secure a monopoly for itself on establishing rules in the virtual world amid the lack of legal regulations in cyberspace. That is, in fact, the same old right for extraterritorial use of its norms," he emphasized.

The senator pointed out that sanctions for ‘foreign’ meddling are being imposed by a country "that has for decades held the record on interfering in the affairs of other countries across the globe, even militarily." "I believe that if all countries in whose affairs America had interfered, imposed sanctions, the US would be an absolute rogue nation. However, for now the notion that might makes right trumps the rule of law, and that’s why a multipolar world is such a threat to the US," Kosachev concluded.