In careful phrasing befitting the spy he once was, Vladimir Putin has made it clear he expects a great deal from President-elect Donald Trump. And, the billionaire businessman may expect a transactional relationship with Putin, reports AP.
Although the Kremlin clearly detested Hillary Clinton, Putin’s public statements on Trump’s victory steered clear of gloating. Other Russians were less fastidious, suggesting that Putin in private could be delighted and perhaps harbouring unreasonable expectations. Trump’s rise to the White House puts two men into seats of global power who are paradoxically both remarkably similar and wildly different. Trump’s praise of the Russian president as a strong leader, his suggestion that the US could abandon its NATO commitments and his vehement complaints about allegedly biased news media all appear to parallel Putin’s view of the world. A top Russian diplomat says Moscow had contacts with Trump’s campaign ahead of his election as president.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with influential people in Trump’s circle. “I don’t say that all of them, but a whole array of them supported contacts with Russian representatives.” The report did not give further details. Trump has repeatedly called for better relations with Russia, frequently musing about a rosy world in which Russia and the US get along.
Putin did the same, hoping that the “degraded” relations between the two powers would improve once Trump takes over. Putin noted, however, that the tension “is not our fault.” The US government believes Putin might have interfered in the election that resulted in Trump’s victory.