Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia have hit a new low and tensions could lead to cyber-war, additional U.S. sanctions and more, risk consultancy Eurasia Group warned on Sunday.
October 7 would be remembered as "Black Friday in US-Russia relations," Eurasia Group analysts Cliff Kupchan, Jonathan Lieber and Mujtaba Rahman and Paul Triolo said in a note.
The comments come after the U.S. on Friday accused the Russian government of directing hacks into U.S. political organizations in a bid to "interfere" with the electoral process.
"The most impactful development was the U.S. in effect stating that President Putin ordered the (Democratic National Committee) DNC hack with the intent of sowing chaos in the U.S. election. Though the circumstantial case against the Kremlin was strong, this step raises the issue's profile to an entirely new level," the analysts said.
The accusations came shortly after State Secretary John Kerry called for Russia to be investigated for war crimes in Syria, where it is supporting the Syrian regime's bombing campaign in parts of the capital Aleppo.
In response, Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was cited by Reuters on Sunday as saying that he had detected increasing U.S. hostility towards Moscow. In an interview with Russian state TV, reported by the news agency, Lavrov complained about what he said was a series of aggressive U.S. steps that threatened Russia's national security. He also blamed the Obama administration for what he described as a sharp deterioration in U.S.-Russia ties.
The Eurasia Group analysts said that the escalation of tensions on Friday could mark a new low ebb in US-Russia relations and lead to "intense" political pressure for the U.S. to act.
"Friday's series of escalatory actions bring US-Russian relations to their lowest level since Moscow used force in Ukraine in 2014," they said. "Developments pose risk of a cyber-war, additional US sanctions, increasingly provocative military postures, and diplomatic expulsions."