Just about the whole world, including the fifty (or is it 51 now, last I heard an extra one was about to be added?) states of the United States, and especially the member states of the European Union, which facing the departure of Britain's large contribution to the budget can't sand to lose one of its major export markets, agreed it would be insane for the USA to impose further economic sanctions on Russia.The latest sanctions are in retaliation for The Kremlin's refusal to end its annexation of Ukraine and are an initiative of the Washington Perpetual War Party which is made up of Democrat and Republican senators and representatives in the pay of the military - industrial complex.
Previous sanctions on Russia, imposed by the Obama administration, were totally ineffective against Russia, which can sell all its oil to China but extremely damaging to several of the weaker EU economies. Given that Russia and China are already engaged in moves to replace the Petrodollar as the global resaerve currency, a trade war is the last thing the USA needs.
Only hours after President Trump officially signed the new sanctions bill into law in spite of his reservations about the wisdom of such a move and his statement that while he favors "tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed", Russia responded with a strong statement from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. On his FaceBook page Medvedev wrote that all hopes of improving Russian relations with the new US administration are dead, that the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence by transferring executive power to Congress "in the most humiliating manner", and most notably, that the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia.
Here's the statement in full from Medvedev's facebook page:
The signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the US president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over. Second, the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence, and in the most humiliating manner transferred executive powers to Congress. This shifts the alignment of forces in US political circles.
What does this mean for the U.S.? The American establishment completely outplayed Trump. The president is not happy with the new sanctions, but he could not avoid signing the new law. The purpose of the new sanctions was to put Trump in his place. Their ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power. An incompetent player must be eliminated. At the same time, the interests of American businesses were almost ignored. Politics rose above the pragmatic approach. Anti-Russian hysteria has turned into a key part of not only foreign (as has been the case many times), but also domestic US policy (this is recent).
The sanctions codified into law will now last for decades, unless some miracle occurs. Moreover, it will be tougher than the Jackson-Vanik law, because it is comprehensive and can not be postponed by special orders of the president without the consent of the Congress. Therefore, the future relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States will be extremely tense, regardless of the composition of the Congress or the personality of the president. Relations between the two countries will now be clarified in international bodies and courts of justice leading to further intensification of international tensions, and a refusal to resolve major international problems.
What does this mean for Russia? We will continue to work on the development of the economy and social sphere, we will deal with import substitution, solve the most important state tasks, counting primarily on ourselves. We have learned to do this in recent years. Within almost closed financial markets, foreign creditors and investors will be afraid to invest in Russia due to worries of sanctions against third parties and countries. In some ways, it will benefit us, although sanctions - in general - are meaningless. We will manage."
Medvedev is perhaps being a tad unfair to Trump, The Donald really had no option other than to sign the bill, if he had tried to veto it there is no doubt his veto would have been overruled and the Democrats, after years of cheering Obama's use of executive orders to bypass Congress would have protested that current the president is turning the USA into a dictatorship. We now wait with bated breath for the response of the European Union which also promised there would be consequences for US trade if the sanctions went ahead.