Russian view on Trump

Russia is giving Donald Trump the kind of fawning television coverage usually reserved for Vladimir Putin. Inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in the White House is giving way to skepticism that any meaningful detente with the U.S. can be achieved.

In Trump we trust, is this the new world order?

Russia is giving Donald Trump the kind of fawning television coverage usually reserved for Vladimir Putin. Inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in the White House is giving way to skepticism that any meaningful detente with the U.S. can be achieved.

Comment

  • Controversies over alleged Putin-ordered hacking to help Trump get elected and a leaked dossier claiming the Kremlin has blackmail material on Trump has transfixed Washington. This is pushing a bill to impose even harsher sanctions on Russia is gaining bipartisan support.
  • Trump’s Treasury secretary nominee, Steve Mnuchin, however, pledged during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee that he’ll enforce sanctions against Russia “100 percent”.
  • President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and imposed penalties on more senior officials in Moscow last month after U.S. agencies tied Putin ordered hacking during the campaign to help Trump and harm Hillary Clinton.

Analysis

  • The tension over allegations have forced many of Trump’s cabinet picks to take tougher stands on Russia in their confirmation hearings.
  • On the other hand, Russian officials could be deliberately talking down expectations from Trump, maybe in an effort to undermine suspicions they secretly aided his campaign.

 Assessment

Trump’s election and his warm word about Putin has generated enthusiasm in Russia. A shop selling Russian military kit located opposite the US embassy in Moscow has unveiled a cheeky promotional campaign offering embassy employees and US citizens a 10 percent discount on its wares to celebrate Trump’s inauguration. Russians are optimists hoping for the best while also preparing for the worst. With Trump now the president, it will be important to go beyond stated intents.

 

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