by Cassy Fiano | December 5, 2016 10:28 am
Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. And Putin has had no problem returning the favor, complimenting Trump in the past as a “brilliant and talented person.” Now that Trump is the President-elect, Putin is reiterating his approval of Trump, expressing his confidence that Trump will serve well as president.
In the past, Putin has said that he hopes Trump will improve relations between the United States and Russia after Obama’s disastrous presidency increased tensions between the two countries. In an interview on Sunday, Putin spoke highly of Trump’s business background. “Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world’s leading countries,” Putin said. “Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if [he is] a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions.”
He also added that he hopes this will be a positive change. “The situation is changing,” he said. “I think it is not a secret to anyone, everyone sees it, that many of our partners already prefer to stick to principles of international law, because the world’s balance is being gradually restored.”
It’s a stark contrast from the diplomatic mess Trump has made with China and Taiwan. Trump called Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, angering China and ignoring decades of protocol dating back to 1979, when Jimmy Carter said that Taiwan was part of “one China.” Whether this move turns out to be a brilliant calculation for Trump, or an unmitigated disaster, is yet to be seen.
Regardless, it seems that Trump is on his way to a good relationship with Russia. The only question is how close to Russia we really want to be.
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