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US Republicans’ victory in mid-terms to complicate relations with Russia — expert

November 05, 2014, 15:48 UTC+3

Director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences member Sergey Rogov commented on the outcome of mid-term elections in the US

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© AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. The outcome of the mid-term elections to the US Congress, in which the Republican Party emerged the winner, will entail further complications in US-Russian relations, the director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences member Sergey Rogov, told TASS on Wednesday.

“The Republicans take a very harsh stance towards Russia. Suffice it to recall that back in 2010 two-thirds of US Congress members from the Republican Party voted against the START treaty. Moderate Republican Richard Lugar, who once led the foreign relations committee, left the Senate a while ago. In Russia, he is mostly remembered as a co-author of the program for assistance in eliminating weapons of mass destruction. As a result the Congress will see the emergence of a homogenous conservative coalition sticking to an irreconcilable attitude towards Moscow,” Rogov said.

“Before the just-held mid-term elections a number of anti-Russian bills had been submitted to the US Senate. Those bills concerned the introduction of extra sanctions against Russia and military assistance to Ukraine. While the Democrats were in the majority in the Senate, none of those anti-Russian bills received support. Now they may be put to the vote again and most probably given a go-ahead,” Rogov said.

“Once they have been signed into law, cancelling them will be very hard, so they will stay in effect indefinitely. Let me remind you that the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, adopted in 1974 to the law on trade with the United States to restrict trade with countries hindering emigration, lasted for nearly 40 years,” Rogov recalled.

“Inspired by the just-attained victory in the mid-term congressional elections the Republicans in 2016 will most certainly try to regain the presidency as well. The Republicans’ presidential candidate in 2012 Mitt Romney referred to Russia as geo-political foe number one. The Republicans are unlikely to revise this stance in the foreseeable future,” Rogov said.

“The Republicans’ victory in the US congressional mid-terms is evidence the Cold War, which the United States is imposing on Russia, is bound to last. By getting back to it we have turned 30 years younger in the negative sense,” Rogov concluded.

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