Foreign Press Review (07.11-13.11)

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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.    

Russia-US relations

Hillary Clinton’s Exploits in McCarthyism

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.

Whoever wins the American presidential election, Russia comes out ahead

The Economist


America’s campaign has served Vladimir Putin’s purpose of discrediting democracy.

For Russia and Putin, a Surprise Gift From America

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.

Trump could bring Russia in from the cold

By Mary Dejevsky

The Guardian


Far from being a Putin stooge, Trump might be able to establish a better working relationship with Russia than Obama managed.

Here’s how Trump’s election will affect U.S.-Russian relations

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.

Vladimir Putin Might Be Facing a Wall With Donald Trump

By Reva Goujon , Lauren Goodrich



Despite exchanging kind words, a bromance between the White House and Kremlin is unlikely.

Syrian conflict

Damascus, allies upbeat on Trump win, await his policies


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.

Putin Is Encouraged, Assad Is Safe With a Weak America

By Frederic C. Hof



The direct link between a surge in Syrian refugees and the U.K.’s Brexit vote is clear.

Russia-Ukraine relations

Ukraine fears falling victim to Trump-Putin ‘grand bargain’

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

Serbia deports Russians suspected of plotting Montenegro coup

By Julian Borger, Andrew MacDowall and Shaun Walkerin

The Guardian


Plotters were allegedly going to storm Podgorica parliament, shoot Milo Ðjukanović and install a pro-Moscow party.

This Is What It Looks Like When Russia Really Wants to Mess With Your Election

By Daniel Serwer, Siniša Vuković

Foreign Policy


In the U.S., the Kremlin is hacking emails. In the Balkans, it’s staging coups.

Moscow links dominate Moldovan presidential poll

By Henry Foy and Neil Buckley

The Financial Times


Doubts about US security commitment up the ante in eastern European elections.

Russia-Turkey relations

Turkey’s Difficult Détente With Russia

By: Burak Ege Bekdil


Defense News

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.

Russia-China relations

Is A Russia-China Economic Alliance On The Horizon?

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.

Russia’s economy

A financial lesson from Russia: Expect the worst and don’t whine

By Nicholas Clements

USA Today


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.

Articles also deserving your attention

  1. ‘Yes We Did’: Russia’s establishment basks in Trump’s victory (09.11.16)
  1. Russia revels in Trump victory, looks to sanctions relief (09.11.16)
  1. Trump in Position to Forge New U.S.-Russia Relationship (09.11.16)
  1. With his policies on Isil and Russia, Donald Trump will make the world a safer place (09.11.16)
  1. Putin Wonders If Trump Win Might Just Be Too Good to Be True (09.11.16)
  1. No Matter Who Wins the Election, Putin Will Pretend to Oppose the Next U.S. President (07.11.16)
  1. What Vladimir Putin Is Expecting From Donald Trump (09.11.16)
  1. Concern over future of Nato as Russia admits to ‘contacts’ with Donald Trump’s team (10.11.16)
  1. A less-belligerent Russia might emerge with Trump’s victory. At least for a while (11.11.16)
  1. Russia Isn’t Actually That Happy About Trump’s Victory (11.11.16)
  1. Putin applauds Trump win and hails new era of positive ties with US (09.11.16)
  1. Is a Trump Presidency Really a Big Win for Putin? (09.11.16)
  1. It’s Putin’s World Now (10.11.16)
  1. ‘Macho v macho’: what to expect from Putin-Trump negotiations (12.11.16)
  1. The Danger of Going Soft on Russia (12.11.16)
  1. Why Would the Pentagon Hire A Russian State Company During a Time of Heightened Tensions? (07.11.16)
  1. How Russia Responds to Cities That Rebel (10.11.16)
  1. Russia, Syria’s Rebels Clash on Chemical Weapons Use Claims (11.11.16)
  1. Huge Nato land army to meet Russian aggression (07.11.16)
  1. Bulgarian vote shows Russia winning hearts on EU’s eastern flank (11.11.16)
  1. Japan must proceed cautiously with Russia (07.11.16)
  1. Russia denies role in alleged plot to kill Montenegro’s premier (07.11.16)
  1. Russia’s boom (farming) economy (07.11.16)
  1. The Making of a Modern Russian Hero (07.11.16)
  1. Russia Prepares to Block LinkedIn After Court Ruling (10.11.16)

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