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Experts say Russia should not indulge in illusions over Trump’s victory

November 09, 2016, 15:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The nature and the state of present-day relations with the United States should be taken into account, the experts warn

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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Russia should not have illusions of a change in relations with the United States after the victory of Republican Candidate Donald Trump at the US elections, experts polled by TASS said on Wednesday.

However, it is not ruled out that some shifts for the better will take place, after he assumes the US White House office, they said.

According to preliminary results, Trump has secured over 270 electoral votes, guaranteeing his victory at the US presidential elections. His triumph came as a surprise as polls suggested that his rival Hillary Clinton would win with a margin of about 4%.

"The main thing is not to make a fuss and not to indulge in illusions over Trump’s victory," Head of the Center of Russian-US Relations Pavel Podlesny said.

The nature and the state of present-day relations with the United States should be taken into account, the expert said.

"Our relations had come to a deadlock by the end of 2013 and acquired another quality after the Ukrainian crisis. We’re rivals, opponents, and, perhaps, if the situation continues to develop in the same manner, we’ll become enemies. For the first time since Korea [the conflict on the Korean peninsula in the 1950s, in which the USSR and the USA provided support to the warring sides], our relations have come to a point that our aircraft fly in the same airspace in Syria. It is an open question of whether we’ll be able to avoid collisions and prevent military incidents," the expert said.

"The political elite has a consensus sentiment of tough policy towards Russia. Russophobia, the negative attitude to Russia and demonization of its president won’t disappear anywhere," Podlesny said.

"Obama also started fairly well and wanted to build relations with Russia. Where has all this disappeared?" he noted.

"We’re simplifying Trump’s position. He has not promised anything. He said he would try to improve relations with Russia and turn over this horrible page in relations," Associate Professor of the MGIMO Department of the Applied Analysis of International Relations Andrei Bezrukov said.

The expert also said that a meeting with Trump would be more comfortable for Russian President Vladimir Putin than a meeting with Hillary Clinton, if she had won a victory.

"It will be comfortable for Vladimir Putin to meet with Trump," he said. "Clinton never liked Putin."

American society wants change

The experts noted that the US voting results testified to the demand for change existing in the US society.

"Much has been said about the pluses and minuses of the US electoral system. In this case, the electoral system has proved to be better than it was spoken about. A non-systemic candidate has won contrary to the administrative resource and even the Republic Party’s position," the expert said.

"This is legitimate. Trump has felt those new sentiments that are developing in the US society," he added.

"Trump will have a very good position to start those changes he is thinking about," Bezrukov said.

"A new generation of the Republican Party that has lent him support stands behind him," the expert noted.

"The election result is the distrust for Clinton and her course. This course did not satisfy a majority of the population," he said.

The expert also dwelt upon the possible political future of Hillary Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton has no political future," Bezrukov said.

In the expert’s opinion, the nomination of precisely Clinton for US presidency has led to the loss of Democrats’ positions.

"The biggest mistake of the Democratic Party was that it allowed Clinton to lose the elections," he said.

Meanwhile, Professor of the National Research Institute at the Higher School of Economics Oleg Matveichev noted that "Trump has defeated the entire establishment, which will put up resistance."

"He will have to break actually the entire bureaucracy," the expert said, adding that Trump would also have to do this inside the Republican Party.

"They will be over-persuading him and will be working with him," he noted.

Nevertheless, as Trump comes to power, foreign policy pressure on Russia may decrease, Matveichev said.

‘We’ll hardly see any resemblance of the Arab Spring but pressure on our borders will decrease and the support of Ukraine and other Russophobic regimes will be reduced," he said.

Trump, China and Europe

The expert presumed that Trump’s victory at the US presidential elections might be bad news for China.

"Trump has shown very anti-Chinese rhetoric over these months," the expert said.

"Trump is an isolationist and protectionist," he added.

The expert believes that the idea of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is most likely "to be frozen or buried."

"The extent to which he’ll be able to break relations with China is a question," Matveichev said.

His opinion is shared by Bezrukov: "the US elites that have supported Trump are preparing for confrontation with China. Confrontation with us is a third-rate task by its significance."

The expert also believes that "European elites should feel very badly today: they will finally come to realize that undercurrents that have caused Brexit and also Trump’s victory exist."

‘For Obama, this is a personal defeat," Bezrukov said. 

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