Last week witnessed the end of the most scandal US presidential election in history, with Donald Trump surprisingly winning the race. The reaction of the western media could be described as “confusion” and “concern”. Almost every news outlet predicted Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory. After the vote, the failed prognoses were explained by the fact that many people, who supported Trump, had just preferred to conceal their intentions before the elections and, therefore, sociologists had wrong numbers. Moreover, some experts noted that the media was so obsessed with demonizing Trump that it eventually indulged in wishful thinking, overlooking the real public sentiment.
Ahead of the vote a wide range of newspapers wrote that regardless of the winner, the real beneficiary is the Kremlin, which had managed to discredit American democracy. It is worth noting that after the announced results some of these outlets claimed that Trump’s victory, although disastrous for the country, is a sign of genuine democratic character of America. Nevertheless, generally the outcome was presented as a gain for Moscow, with many Russian officials celebrating the Republican candidate’s victory. Telling evidence, according to the media, is that Mr Putin was among the first who congratulated the newly elected president. According to the Kremlin’s press-release, “Mr Putin said he hopes for work together to lift Russian-US relations out of the current crisis, resolve issues on the international agenda, look for effective responses to global security challenges”. Moreover, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump have a phenomenally close conceptual approach to foreign policy that is probably a good basis for starting a dialogue for “clearing out the Augean stables in the bilateral relations”. Nevertheless, as Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov asserted, Moscow has “no euphoria” over Mr Trump’s election and, that is why does “not expect anything special from the new US administration.”
As for the political scientists’ opinion, they disagreed on the future of Russia-US relations. Some observers think that Mr Putin and Mr Trump have a lot in common including their nationalist aspirations and desire for making their countries great. However, others draw the readers’ attention to the fact that Obama once also advocated closer relations with Russia and even pushed a “reset button”. Furthermore, analysts share some sort of consensus that both Putin and Trump are strong men or “machos”, but experts do not see eye to eye whether it will help to make friendship or, conversely, will be an illustration of a proverb “two dogs over one bone seldom agree”.
In addition, the media also touched on particular issues in international relations. First of all, Trump once challenged NATO article five commitments, claiming that every case on collective defense should be assessed on a case by case basis. It caused concern among the Baltic countries, which recently resorted to such fear-mongering that now they could become hostages of their own rhetoric, since US future policy is unclear. Secondly, pundits discussed the Ukraine conflict and some of them (Reva Goujon , Lauren Goodrich) expressed the opinion that “Trump could be more flexible in his interpretation of the Minsk accord and offer to partially lift sanctions to get the conversation going”. Last but not least, proceeding to the Syrian conflict, Donald Trump questioned the rationale for backing rebels while expressing desire to cooperate with Russia in the fight against terrorists. It could be a new chance for breakthrough or at least for reviving the negotiating process. Now it is time to see whether Donald Trump will follow his words and which experts’ predictions will come true.
By James W Carden
The New Cold Warriors who surround Hillary Clinton have made Russia-bashing and McCarthyism the go-to tactics to silence the few voices warning of the grave and unnecessary risks of a new Cold War.
America’s campaign has served Vladimir Putin’s purpose of discrediting democracy.
By Neil MacFarquhar
The New York Times
The victory of Donald J. Trump declared early on Wednesday was an unexpected bonus for the Kremlin, which had used the long, tortured United States election campaign to prove the global reach of its disruptive disinformation operations and to cast doubt on the entire Western democratic process.
By Mary Dejevsky
Far from being a Putin stooge, Trump might be able to establish a better working relationship with Russia than Obama managed.
By Joshua Tucker
The Washington Post
Over the course of the recent U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump broke new ground — especially for a Republican candidate — with his consistent praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. With Trump now headed to the White House, I reached out to a number of Russian politics experts for their take on what this means for U.S.-Russian relations, as well as their expectations for the effect of a Trump presidency on Russian foreign policy more generally.
By Reva Goujon , Lauren Goodrich
Despite exchanging kind words, a bromance between the White House and Kremlin is unlikely.
By Tom Perry and Laila Bassam
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies hope to benefit from Donald Trump’s election win, believing it has saved them from the risks of an interventionist Clinton administration.
By Frederic C. Hof
The direct link between a surge in Syrian refugees and the U.K.’s Brexit vote is clear.
By Neil Buckley, Roman Olearchyk
The Financial Times
Kiev concerned US will cede ‘sphere of influence’ to Moscow in effort to improve ties.
Russia and Eastern Europe
By Julian Borger, Andrew MacDowall and Shaun Walkerin
Plotters were allegedly going to storm Podgorica parliament, shoot Milo Ðjukanović and install a pro-Moscow party.
By Daniel Serwer, Siniša Vuković
In the U.S., the Kremlin is hacking emails. In the Balkans, it’s staging coups.
By Henry Foy and Neil Buckley
The Financial Times
Doubts about US security commitment up the ante in eastern European elections.
By: Burak Ege Bekdil
Turkey’s always-complex zigzags between its Western allies and their respective strategic rivals are more than notorious. Russia is a case in point. A year ago Turkey and Russia were on the brink of war over Syria. Today they are in a courtship that may include critical defense and procurement cooperation.
By Sara Hsu
As Russia continues to contend with sanctions from the United States and European Union after annexing Crimea in 2014, it has cast its eye on a new ally: China.
By Nicholas Clements
Consider Russia. With its reliance on oil production, Russia has been hit hard, with its economy sent into freefall. Despite the collapse, protests from the Russian people remain muted. Contrary to popular belief, Russians are not blindly loyal to Vladimir Putin. Instead, they expect crises to happen and handle them extraordinarily well.
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