Russia’s intervention in Congressional elections: Bolton warned of the consequences

Swift turn German FM says Europe needs bank transactions system independent from US

After meeting with his Russian counterpart in Geneva on August 23, 2018, national security adviser John Bolton holds a news conference at the U.S. Embassy.

Paul was commenting on the meeting of Trump's new national security advisor, John Bolton, with his Russian counterpart Nikolay Patrushev in Geneva on Thursday, which the U.S. envoy described as making "considerable progress" in relations between Washington and Moscow.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian operatives targeted the presidential campaign in 2016 with a hacking and social-media disinformation campaign to try to tilt the election in Trump's favor and that they were likely to do so again in the November midterm vote.

Damascus, endorsed by Moscow, has denied using such weapons.

Besides Russia's election meddling, relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated to a post-Cold War low over issues including Russia's seizure of Crimea in 2014 and its role in wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov had separate words with his USA counterpart Mike Pompeo on Thursday, and warned him that Russia views the U.S. as taking a "destructive" approach to ties, severely impeding cooperation.

An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA that the Western countries, especially the US, France and the United Kingdom, are once again resorting to a campaign of threats, hypocrisy and misinformation against the Syrian Arab Republic as part of the continued declared support for the armed terrorist groups, particularly Nusra Front and its affiliated groups.

Bolton said he and Patrushev had discussed nuclear nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, arms control, and Middle East issues including Syria and Afghanistan.

Trump criticised the deal for allowing Iran to continue its ballistic missile program and that Tehran had continued its aggressive foreign policy through its proxy militias in country's like Syria and Yemen.

Trump has said Iran must stop meddling in wars in Syria and Yemen, part of a foreign policy supporting regional allies in conflict with proxies of US -backed Gulf Arab kingdoms.

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The administration has demanded that Iran, a Russian ally in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, withdraw all of its "regular and irregular" military forces from Syria.

The United States supports rebels fighting against Assad's government.

Bolton, one of the Trump administration's leading hawks in dealing with Iran's nuclear programme, held talks with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem this week.

"Bolton's comments are created to continue pressuring adversaries and allies alike to make the switch to non-Iranian sources of crude and condensate", he said.

An official source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates told SANA news agency on Wednesday that the fresh Western threats against Damascus came amid the Syrian army's territorial gains against foreign-backed terrorists.

Bolton added after talks in Geneva with Nikolai Patrushev that the issue of meddling in elections had prevented the two sides from issuing a joint final statement.

Patrushev said after the meeting in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that he and Bolton didn't agree on a joint statement because the USA wanted to mention the alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

Bolton cautioned that 'people who are accused of having violated the sanctions could be indicted, ' alluding to a possible follow-up of the USA indictments of 12 Russian officials as part of an investigation by US special counsel Robert Mueller.

"We expect that Europeans will see, as businesses all over Europe are seeing, that the choice between doing business with Iran or doing business with the United States is very clear to them", said the national security advisor.

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