Will Trump try to team up with Putin?
US president-elect Donald Trump had his first telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin on Monday. According to the Kremlin both men voiced the desire for improved relations between their countries. But this is no reason to believe Putin and Trump will work together in the future, commentators write.
Trump won't bother with Russia
The Russian daily Moskovskij Komsomolets doesn't believe that relations between Moscow and Washington will improve in the long term under the new president:
“Let's try to come up with a reason why Trump should be interested in helping Russia and moving US policy in that direction. He has zero interest in Russia. He's not Russian. 'Friendship' is an unknown, abstract word in politics and business. Weighing in for the new president are on the one hand the US's interests, its companies and its army. Add to that the risks awaiting him if he goes against those interests. On the other side of the scale we have distant Russia with its weak economy that is dependent on raw materials. So precisely what is supposed to influence Trump in favour of the second, clearly lighter side of the scale?”
A potentially risky friendship for Putin
Vladimir Putin could be in for some unpleasant surprises should he strike up a friendship with Trump, Jutarnji list believes:
“Trump may react far more aggressively than Obama and take it as a personal insult if Putin goes back on bilateral agreements. And Putin is always breaking international treaties and agreements. Trump's unpredictability could lead to serious international confrontations. In the worst case the two countries could find themselves in yet another regional proxy war. But that's not the only danger Putin faces: Trump's anti-establishment populism could find copycats in Russia, where the living standards of much of society are rapidly declining as a result of economic crises and rampant corruption. Trump could give average Russians the idea that it's time to drain not just the swamp in Washington, but also the swamp in Moscow.”
US needed as a bogeyman
The Irish Examiner also believes that a rapprochement between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin could give the latter headaches on the home front:
“Putin has built his foreign policy around one premise: That the United States is Russia’s primary, indeed only, international rival. Every policy, every speech, every foreign meeting, every news programme revolves around this central thesis. But what if that enemy, or at least its most extreme caricature, suddenly disappeared? Putin has nothing to replace the propaganda gusher of an arrogant, overreaching, and power-obsessed United States. ... Putin could also look elsewhere for adversaries - Europe, Islamic State - but they are unlikely to galvanise the Russian people to the same extent as an old superpower rivalry.”