While Russia repositions itself as a stand-alone power in the north-central portion of the world’s largest continent, its leaders are seeking to create a distinct national entity amid a vast and highly diverse neighborhood.
Expectations of the first meeting between presidents Putin and Trump were low, and the U.S. president stood to lose out however the encounter went. But any agreement to manage the risks in the relationship counts as an achievement.
By inviting Putin to Versailles, Macron threw his hat in the ring for the role of a new geopolitical leader in Europe. He made this decision in the context of not just bilateral relations but also France’s relations with the West and the EU. Macron is trying to demonstrate his ability to confront the bad guys, draw red lines, and differentiate between pragmatic objectives and overarching values.
In its clumsy attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Sino-Russian axis, the Trump administration misunderstands not only the strength of relations, but also its own desirability as a useful ally.
The conflict between the United States and Russia is a conflict between dominance and leadership, as far the U.S. is concerned, and Russia’s yearning for a global oligarchy.
The US-Russian relationship under Trump will mainly focus on reducing risks of collision, taking confidence-building measures, and engaging in other forms of war avoidance. Improved relations can only result from a change in the basic attitude of either of the two countries toward the other.
Experts provide insight on the internal politics of Russia, as well as the current state of U.S.-Russia relations.
The risk of a confrontation has increased since Friday, but, paradoxically, greater American involvement in Syria may also bring about closer US-Russian co-operation there, leading eventually to a political settlement and an end to the bloody six-year civil war.
Russians’ fondness for Donald Trump doesn’t mean that anti-American sentiment has suddenly disappeared in Russia. But even though Trump’s election is unlikely to reverse decades of mistrust, his statements about improving relations with Russia have already had an impact on Russians’ attitudes toward the United States.
The Reykjavik summit from thirty years ago shows what can be done when two leaders, whose states are supposedly implacable enemies, take responsibility and act to enhance the world’s strategic stability and safety.