NEWSWATCH: “Contrary to Expectations, US-Russian Relations Deteriorate Under President Trump” – Russia Matters/Thomas Graham

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

 

“… Trump’s presidency began … with widespread expectations of improvement in U.S.-Russian relations [yet now they are] in worse shape than he found them. … the National Security Strategy … identified Russia (along with China) as a strategic adversary intent on undermining U.S. primacy … [Additionally, consider] Trump’s decision to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine to help deter Russian aggression …. rebuilding relations was never going to be easy after their near total collapse in Obama’s final years. Profound disagreements over Ukraine and Syria, simmering tensions along the NATO-Russian border and Russia’s meddling in the American presidential campaign all conspired against better relations. The task was further complicated by the absence of any credible signs of Russian flexibility. * * *  Both sides seem prepared to take further steps on the path toward permanent adversarial relations at a time of mounting global disorder, as a consequence of geopolitical shifts, technological advance and disruption and robust militant, radical ideologies. Rather than sharpening the differences, Russia and the United States should be seeking ways to contain the disorder and build a new and enduring global order, tasks that will require a modicum of cooperation ….”

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