A bill proposed by a group of US senators, including Republican John McCain, on comprehensive sanctions against Russia in retaliation for alleged cyberattacks it had reportedly masterminded is part and parcel of a large-scale campaign against President-elect Donald Trump, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, told TASS.
“An active campaign against the president-elect is in progress. He is being cordoned off wherever possible,” Kosachyov said. He recalled that for the time being the issue on the agenda was an initiative by a group of ten senators, not yet considered either by Congress or by the president.
“Nobody had expected anything else from McCain,” Kosachyov added.
He is certain that an attitude to this legislative initiative should be made only after the US parliament has made a decision.
“All such initiatives are expected to trigger a hasty and nervous response from Russia. I see no need why we should play into the hands of our ill-wishers,” Kosachyov said. “We’ve got to wait just a little bit more, before this era is a bygone.”
On Tuesday, a bill on sanctions against Russia for alleged attempts to influence the US presidential election by means of cyberattacks was submitted to the US Senate. It was authored by a group of influential senators from both parties, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Robert Portman, of the Republican Party, and Democrats Ben Cardin and Bob Menendez.
According to explanatory notes obtained by TASS from the office of the US Senate’s international relations committee, the bill envisages a mandatory ban on the issuance of US visas to and the arrest of assets of all those “who engage in significant activities undermining the cyber security of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions.”
Also, restrictions will be established on those who furnish financial and material support for hackers.
The bill’s authors also argue it is necessary to restrict cooperation with the Russian defense and intelligence sector, including the federal security service FSB and the Main Directorate of Russia’s General Staff. The US Secretary of Homeland Security may be empowered to hold public activities in order to brief the public on likely cyber threats. The bill’s co-authors suggest earmarking 25 million dollars in 2018 and 2019 on the proposed measures.