0543 GMT February 18, 2018
Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, made the remarks on Wednesday in an interview with Press TV when asked about new legislation introduced in the Senate to impose sweeping new sanctions on Russia.
Five Democrats and five Republicans unveiled the new punishments on Tuesday after the intelligence community concluded in a report that the Russian government had sought to influence the outcome of the November election through cyberhacking and a smear campaign, a claim that Trump and Moscow have both rejected.
“It’s extraordinarily foolish for the American Congress to try to impose any kind of sanctions on Russia on the grounds that Russia has supposedly interfered in the American election, that has not been proven,” Preston said.
“The intelligence services are trying to create a greater degree of friction between the United States and Russia, and the Democratic Party is going along with this, in part because they want to blame the Russians for their loss in the election,” he added.
The proposed legislation would solidify many of the sanctions President Barack Obama's outgoing administration has imposed against Russia and limit Trump’s ability to improve relations with Moscow.
Preston said, “the intelligence services and the political establishment are trying to undermine (Trump)’s efforts to bring the United States closer to Russia,” adding, “they have allies in Congress, particularly in the Democratic Party” to help them achieve their goal.
He said one reason they do not want better ties with Russia is that “the military industrial complex wants to expand NATO right up the Russia’s border and they also want to circle Russia with military bases in Central Asia.”
“This is part of a wider program of establishing and maintaining the American hegemony in that particular region,” the analyst added.
The new sanctions against Russia include visa bans and financial asset freezes against those the US intelligence claimed were behind the cyberattacks against US Democratic organizations and officials. The measure, called “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017,” would also target Russia's vast energy sector and companies that invest in or help develop its civil nuclear projects.