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WashPost: Trump's Presidency Will Show Us What Putin Really Wants

Image: WashPost: Trump's Presidency Will Show Us What Putin Really Wants

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 09:06 AM

Once President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, Americans will get a much better idea of what Russian President Vladimir Putin really is up to on the world stage, a top expert says.

Trump is expected to pursue a different U.S. policy toward Russia than recent presidents. “Instead of attempts to contain Russia’s territorial ambitions, Trump has been suggesting much more accommodation, admiration and even possibly cooperation,” Yuval Weber, visiting assistant professor of government at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, writes in the Washington Post.

If Trump carries through with his new policy, it will provide the needed insight into which theory of Russian interventionism in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and the Middle East reflects Putin’s real intentions, according to Weber.

The first theory has some speculating that Russia's moves into Crimea, Syria and Georgia were reactions to U.S.-led attempts to restrict its power, he says. Weber notes Russian policymakers claim the U.S. and Europe have been threatening Russia by bringing missiles closer to the nation and taking actions designed with the eventual goal of getting Putin replaced.

If the theory is accurate, and U.S. and Russia adopt something like a unilateral detente, the result would likely mean a less aggressive Putin because the source of danger will be eliminated, he says.

The other theory being pushed has Russia's military actions designed to distract its own citizens from a host of domestic and economic problems brought on by falling oil prices and a faltering political system. And if this theory is accurate, Russia will not change its interventionism until it's economy improves, he says.

And Weber points out if Russian leaders are looking to put that nation in a more powerful position internationally, a Trump presidency would likely lead to more Russian interventionism.

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Once President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, Americans will get a much better idea of what Russian President Vladimir Putin really is up to on the world stage, a top expert says
Trump, putin, US, Russia
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2016-06-28
Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 09:06 AM
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