The progress that President Trump made at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, has been sabotaged by the US Congress. Despite expressing his admiration for Vladimir Putin during his White House campaign trail last year, his hands are now effectively tied by politicians thanks to new sanctions they voted for.

Congress is not prepared to forgive President Putin

The sanctions were approved by a coalition of Republicans, who feel the President does not know who he is dealing with in regards to the Russian leader, and Democrats who blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's defeat.

It appears that Congress is not prepared to forgive President Putin for his annexation of Crimea or his interference in the Syrian conflict. In response, the Russian Government has expelled hundreds of American diplomats and Russians working for the American Embassy.

President Trump was elected during a time when relations between Russia and the US could not be any worse. President Putin was antagonized and isolated by his predecessor, Obama, which caused the former to invade the Crimea and Syria. But in regard to the latter, it was the former president's lack of backbone that enabled the Russians to interfere in the conflict there.

The Russian leader wrote the current US President a letter, which was circulated on social media, urging him to rebuild America's relationship with his nation.

For the sake of global stability, this is a crucial step. But Congress's new sanctions, implemented for no valid reasons at all, have now reset the efforts the Trump administration was making. With overwhelming support in both Houses of Congress for these sanctions, the President had no choice but to sign them off.

Another strategic defeat for President Trump

But Congress's latest sanctions have substantial implications. It is no secret that North Korea is becoming an increasing threat to world peace. President Trump, much like George W. Bush, wants this rogue state eliminated. But he is trying to achieve this goal without the need for war.

The first logical step for the US President would be to seek China's support for further sanctions against the regime, but they seem reluctant to do so. This is because Pyongyang's downfall would create a refugee crisis on China's border.

Regardless of how one feels about the Russian Government, Putin's support would have been vital if the US President hoped to cripple North Korea without declaring war. If Russia could be persuaded to impose fresh sanctions on the regime, China would have had no choice but to do the same. They would have been viewed as the only nation not to support action against their neighbor. Now it looks possible the US President can only topple Pyongyang by declaring war without Russian and Chinese support.

The latest Russian sanctions represent another strategic defeat for President Trump and an attempt by Congress to thwart his presidency. Ending the confrontation between two of the world's most powerful nations has become increasingly complicated.