Here's a prediction. It's only logical, as an outgrowth of Rex Tillerson's agenda in Moscow. Everything we've learned of all the players over the last year, in the White House and in Moscow, leads to this.
1) Russia cares about Syria, for its warm water port and strategic value -- but Russia has no allegiance to Bashar Assad, who has become a pariah.
Russia will broker a deal to ferry Assad out of power, and install a replacement government. To great acclaim. Russia has enough control of key generals and armed factions there to continue its military role in Syria.
2) Russia's bigger goal is to get stifling financial sanctions lifted, in return for removal of Assad.
On this goal, Exhibit A -- delivery of a plan to former national security advisor Michael Flynn, in early February, to install a Russia-friendly government in the Ukraine, in exchange for Russia withdrawing its forces from eastern Ukraine.
As a bonus -- sanctions removed. The proposal uncovered by the NY Times was sent by Trump business associate Felix Sater, Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen and a Ukrainian lawmaker, the Times wrote.
3) The sanctions are blocking a previously negotiated deal between Rosneft and Exxon to jointly develop oil fields in the Arctic Kara Sea and the Black Sea.
Exxon has vowed to return to implementing the joint development project once sanctions are lifted.
Trump owes Moscow, bigly, for strategically timed leaks orchestrated with Wikileaks. In fact, Wikileaks relocated 2 servers to Moscow IP addresses the week before its release of Podesta emails.
The ties of foreign agents in the executive branch are being revealed. Trump hopes diversionary foreign moves will make everyone look the other way.
KEYWORDS: Rex Tillerson, Russia, sanctions
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