"DC sources say that Trump admin has an executive order ready to lift Russia sanctions. [President of the United States] @POTUS to talk to Merkel and then Putin on Saturday," senior research fellow at the Atlantic Council Fabrice Pothier tweeted late on Thursday, January 26.
DC sources say that Trump admin has an executive order ready to lift Russia sanctions. @POTUS to talk to Merkel and then Putin on Saturday— Fabrice Pothier (@FabricePothier) January 26, 2017
"If confirmed, [this] would be biggest upset for years of patient Western efforts to stop revanchist Russia. Important Congress and Europe to react," he wrote.
Editor of U.S.-based POLITICO Susan Glasser also mentioned that the executive order was said to be ready.
"Hearing Trump world has [the] text of [an] order floating around to ease Russia sanctions," she tweeted on the same day.
Hearing Trump world has text of order floating around to ease Russia sanctions. Will they put out before Tillerson confirmed SecState?— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) January 26, 2017
She later added that several sources were reporting that the proposed order would unilaterally lift the sanctions.
The sources did not elaborate on the type of the anti-Russian sanctions.
Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, who was NATO Deputy Secretary General in 2012-2016, previously U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Russia and South Korea and Assistant Secretary of Defense, in turn observed that all the Crimea and Donbas sanctions can be lifted by an executive order unless Congress codifies them in legislation.
Reuters reported on Friday, quoting the Kremlin, that Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to talk by telephone this Saturday.
This will be their first conversation since Trump took office, it said.
Read alsoNo grounds to lift Russia sanctions: President PoroshenkoThe phone call will be a crucial first step towards what the Kremlin and the White House hope will be a thaw in relations that were fraught under the previous U.S. administration, Reuters wrote.
Their conversation will also be subject to close scrutiny from Trump's critics after U.S. intelligence agencies alleged that Russian security services tried to influence the U.S. presidential election in Trump's favor.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked by Russian news agencies if the phone call could take place on Saturday, replied: "Yes," but gave no further details.