Julia Davis, excerpts:
The midterm elections are perceived as another mechanism of influence that could prevent the implementation of the most severe sanctions against Russia.
Stankevich, the head of the international affairs committee for the Party of Growth, argued that the very fate of Trump is at stake in the midterm elections. Vitaly Tretyakov, dean of Moscow State University’s School of Television, insisted with a certain note of irony that Russia should act decisively in response to the new sanctions, pressuring Trump by threatening to withdraw Russian support in the midterms. Tretyakov proposed: “Let’s turn this into a headache for Trump. If you want us to support you in the elections, which we’re said to be arranging, then do what we say.”
Stankevich argued with the state TV host, Olga Skabeeva, who repeated the popular Russian mantra “Trump is ours.” Stankevich described Trump as a “psychologically unstable swashbuckler” and said Russian politics should prioritize “the containment of madness.” He stressed that the sanctions bill “crossed two red lines” Americans avoided in the past by targeting Gazprom and Russia’s sovereign debt.
A gaggle of pro-Kremlin talking heads voiced a series of other proposals Russia should implement in retaliation for the U.S. sanctions, such as “start arresting Americans,” shut down American businesses operating in Russia, form an anti-American front with the enemies of the United States, steal Western technologies and confiscate funds from Russia’s nouveaux riches to compensate for the losses caused by the sanctions.
As Russian pundits and politicians lose faith in Trump, they hope the Hill can help them—or at least not impose its promised ‘sanctions bill from Hell.’
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