Trump’s Praise Of Putin Looks Odd

Washington: President-elect Donald Trump praised Vladimir Putin as a smart person for not retaliating over the US sanctions and expulsion of 35 Russian delegates from the United States.

“Great move on delay (by V.Putin),” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “I always knew he was very smart!”

Vladimir Putin responded by saying that he won’t create problems to American delegates and even extended invitation to the children of American delegates to a holiday party in Kremlin. He added that he would “plan further steps in restoring the Russian-American relationship based in the policies enacted by the administration of President Donald Trump.”

Putin not reciprocating to the US sanctions is a departure from their long tit-for-tat policies Kremlin adopted toward US in the past. This shift portrays Russia’s willingness to build relationship with the US and the support Putin has been enjoying from Trump. Both of them praised each other throughout the election campaign.

Trump’s reluctance even to give a hard look at the evidence that the intelligence had gathered about the Russian involvement in the hackings of the emails of Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta makes him odds with majority Republicans who ordered an investigation into the matter. Trump’s mere denial to the allegations or the intelligence evidence and playing down on Russia’s involvement and attributing Washington politics for years of animosity with Russia suggests days of complete shift in foreign policy.

Trump blames Washington for posing Russia as a threat and promises friendly relationship with the country in his administration. Further, he considers China instead as the greatest threat to US and blames it for the US trade deficit and the loss of jobs.

Trump’s cabinet is a reflection of his foreign policy. His nominee for general secretary Rex Tillerson, Exxon Chairman and a businessman, is a close friend of Putin and a dealmaker whose interests lie in oil diggings in East Russia. On the other hand, Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan Prime Minister Tsai Ing-Wen soon after his victory irked China.   

Trump also has businesses in Russia. How successfully Trump deals with country’s interests putting aside his vested interests remains to be seen.

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