Post by Christian Manrique
As the US withdraws from the Climate Change Paris Agreement, the world enters a new era of uncertainty about a better future for all. The worst predictions about Donald Trump’s presidency and new policies seem to become realities and therefore rough times are ahead of us, maybe for the next four years, perhaps eight, until he is either removed or finishes his mandate or mandates. He might be the dimmest President the US has ever had. The US is missing the target on Climate Change. Nonetheless, this is not a crisis, it’s just a setback and it can be fixed. Information has become essential for citizens. I’m trying to contribute here with these lines to spread light.
The world needs bright leaders with a more global perspective. It’s not just about salaries in Pittsburgh, Mr. President, it’s about reducing gas emissions that can kill us all. In the meantime, let’s strike back, let’s obliterate by all possible means the seed that Trump is trying to plant. Let’s stop the weed that Mr. Donald Trump is esaying to spread rapidly as an obnoxious growth. It would be much better and with less costs if the US, China and India, for example, would compete among them for innovation, development and research. Let’s hope Mr. Macron’s words can become a new reality. Make our planet great again. #Makeourplanetgreatagain.
Putin and Trump’s World 2
(This post was originally supposed to have the headline “Putin and Trump’s World 2”. However, due to Trump’s decision on Climate Change, missing the target on this area, I decided to change it and rewrite a new introduction).
Although the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the President of the United States, Donald Trump, mutual devotion is well known and spread, distrust between Russia and USA citizens is on the same path, but in opposite ways. While their leaders see as a priority to recover and consolidate international relations quite out of focus and ambiguous, public opinion is different. Nonetheless, citizens from both countries believe that relations will improve. Beyond opinions, Russia would benefit from new American policies.
The following polls show Russian views of US and NATO, and although they are two years old have become indicators of the Russian feeling towards overseas affairs involving other countries and institutions.
According to a January poll among Russians, by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center, almost 46% of them believe that relations between Russia and the US will improve with Trump in the White House.
DO YOU THINK THAT US-RUSSIAN RELATIONS WILL CHANGE AFTER THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, AND IF SO, IN WHAT WAY?
|Remain the same||38||35||27||29|
|It is difficult to say||22||20||17||15|
But the truth is that the effects of North American policies could benefit Russia indirectly, as well as giving the country specific advantages on the situation in Syria.
Until now the main reason for the United States to maintain and defend a liberal trade order right since World War Two had been based on geopolitical grounds. The aim had been preventing communism to spread all over Western Europe during the first Cold War years and designing a controlled structure with the new emerging countries under North American leadership. Turning towards economic and trade protectionism could affect the initial goal.
As a matter of fact, the first action has already been taken by the United States withdrawing from the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). Therefore, contention against China’s geopolitical rise has disappeared giving the Asian country the possibility to lead a major Transpacific Agreement without the USA.
China and Russia maintain very good political and economic relations. UE’s TTIP (Trans Atlantic Trade Investment Partnership), designed as a tool to strive US and China’s exports, is frozen. Thus, the US can reach on its own its bilateral agreements, especially with Germany, although this is not possible due to Brussels legislation. Taking this into account, it may possibly be the cause for North American battle to weaken the EU. Besides theses grounds, there is also the pressure on NATO’s partners to increase military budgets, as well as support to Brexit and populism, like Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale. These are key factors that Russia can benefit from increasing its influence in peripheric areas, all advantages with an EU and NATO weakened.
On the other hand, Trump plans to lift sanctions on Russia if it cooperates on fighting terrorism. Regardless of the motivations, it is clear the Russians are getting exactly what they had hoped for, even if they ever helped the President of the United States win the White House in 2016. This situation has been seen in the Syria situation, although there is no joint military cooperation. However, although Trump might could lift sanctions, the Congress of the United States would probably transform them in laws to leave them activated. This responds to the fact that both parties share an anti-Russian consensus that has not diminish since Trump’s inauguration. This majoritarian opinion is seen from Russia with concern.
January poll by the University of Quinnipiac states that only 9% of Americans perceive Putin in a positive way, 70% have got a negative perception.
There might be some additional Russian interests involving geopolitical and strategic goals in Great Eurasia, like becoming a referee between India and Pakistan, not framed by the USA yet. Russia tried hard to become an important influence in the area to tight political and trading bonds.
Although Russian and USA basic interests are opposed and the US will try to maintain its hegemony for global leadership, Russia could benefit from this situation, specifically from Trump’s Administration measures. Thus, Russia could build a Great Eurasia relation system, an area still less influenced by North American domination and with a lower international pressure from EU and NATO.
The battle for leadership will focus Russian American relations in the coming years. Balance will depend upon concessions and drawn lines, maybe helped by flexibility and adaptability.