US has slapped sanctions on 19 Russians for their involvement in election meddling and the infamous Notpetya cyber-attacks. These are the most indicative steps taken by Washington against Russia ever since Trump took office. The US Treasury has clearly stated that more sanctions will be imposed in coming days. In addition, US has for the first time accused Russia of cyber attacks on US power grid and other nuclear facilities.
White House also came to back British claims of direct Kremlin involvement in the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and has jointly asked Russia to explain the same. Moscow has however denied all allegations. The brand new confrontational avatar of Washington has left many Russian analysts perplexed as to what is coming next and when. Despite President Trump’s reassurances of bettering ties with Russia and his obvious hesitation to criticize Putin, the new realities definitely signal a shift in balance. The shift has not come abruptly but in phases which were marked by Russian support for Syrian regime in Eastern Ghouta and further aggravated by Putin’s video about Russia’s new invincible weaponry. The recent moves have exasperated Trump as Russia did not reciprocate the goodwill extended by President Trump when he took office. The recent stance on Russia will last and actually depend on how the investigation by Robert Mueller will actually affect the political position of Trump administration.
However, it is apparent as of now that the US standing on Russia has changed and more sanctions will be seen in coming days. But confirming the long-term positioning of the current situation is as unpredictable as US President himself.