NEW YORK, June 2. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump attempted to lift anti-Russian sanctions shortly after taking office, but failed due to fierce resistance by the previous administration officials, Yahoo News reported, citing informed sources.
Straight after taking office, Trump administration officials tasked State Department employees with developing proposals for the removal of economic sanctions, the return of diplomatic compounds and other measures to mend ties with Moscow," according to the portal's sources.
"There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions," said Dan Fried, a veteran State Department official who served as chief US coordinator for sanctions policy until he retired in late February.
The news portal quoted him as saying that in the first few weeks of the new administration, he received several "panicky" calls from US government officials who told him they had been directed to develop a sanctions-lifting package and imploring him, "Please, my God, can’t you stop this?"
Another official, President Obama’s assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowski said he was among those who turned to the Congress. He said he was alarmed by the administration’s plans to lift sanctions and possibly arrange a summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"It would have been a win-win for Moscow," Malinowski said.