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Russian senator believes Trump might scale down NATO’s activities in distant countries

November 11, 2016, 18:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A Russian MP comments on Germany's defense minister calls on Donald Trump to be firm with Russia and not to treat NATO like a business
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© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections might lead to a decline in NATO’s activities in distant countries, member of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Defense and Security Alexei Pushkov told TASS on Friday.

Commenting on German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen’s call on Trump to be firm with Russia and not to treat NATO like a business, Puskov pointed out that during his election campaign Trump had stated that the US should not build democracy in distant countries and interfere in the conflicts that don’t directly affect Washington. "I believe Trump will adopt the same approach towards NATO’s activities," Pushkov said. In his opinion, "under Trump, the US is unlikely to launch military operations such as the Libyan operation in 2011, at least the possibility of such operations will significantly diminish."

"I assume the Euro-Atlantic circles in Europe have been nervous because Trump might revise NATO’s intervention policy. I’d say they have a right to be concerned," the Russian senator added.

Besides that, in his words, the new US president might force NATO member states to boost their contributions in order not to leave the heaviest burden to the US.

The senator noted that the Obama administration, too, was not happy about many European NATO countries not fulfilling their financial obligations "hoping the US will pay for them." "I think Trump will try to put an end to it, that may entail tensions between the US and Europe," Pushkov said.

As for Germany’s defense minister’s call on Trump to be firm with Russia, it is an expected response of the European liberal circles to Hillary Clinton’s defeat, Pushkov said. He added that during the election campaign Trump had said he wanted to get along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the US establishment as well as the European liberal elite, will now try to prevent him from fulfilling this intention. The German defense ministry’s statement is a step in this direction," Pushkov concluded.

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