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US attitude to Russia, China to remain unchanged, says Italy's ex-foreign minister

Franco Frattini told TASS that he is certain that some real changes may begin to be felt in relations with Europe

ROME, November 5. /TASS/. Washington's policies towards Russia and China will see no considerable change regardless of who emerges the winner in the US presidential election, Italy's former foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told TASS on Thursday.

Frattini, the Chamber President to the Italian Supreme Administrative Court, President of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) remarked that the incumbent US leader, Donald Trump, had very controversial relations with Russia. "Trump had plans for easing the regime of sanctions, but has failed to achieve this over his four years in office. If [the Democratic Candidate Joseph] Biden gains the upper hand, I can see no chances of some changes in the policy towards Russia or China. It is an American problem, which will be still there regardless of who is the president, Trump or Biden," Frattini said.

He is certain that some real changes may begin to be felt in relations with Europe.

"If elected, Biden will pursue a more pro-European policy, while Trump prefers to build bilateral relations with individual European counties. He has never seen Europe as an effective political mechanism. Somebody in Berlin or Paris might be happier to see Biden win, but traditionally Europe has never expressed any likes and dislikes in public, because the dialogue has to be conducted with any president," Frattini said.

 

Trump's successes and mistake

 

The current post-election situation, in which both contenders claim to have gained victory, Frattini said, demonstrates that the United States is split and this split is far more noticeable than in previous years. In addition, he fears that if the declaration of the final election returns is unduly delayed, tensions in society may soar. "For the time being only one conclusion can be made: nobody had expected Trump would demonstrate such an impressive performance. Many analysts had forecast his crushing defeat. In the meantime, Trump has managed to retain half of the country, despite the heavy death toll claimed by the coronavirus pandemic and in defiance of street protests by Afro-American communities. Nevertheless America, however split it may be, supports the president," he stated.

Frattini pointed to Trump's indisputable successes.

"He has managed to keep the economic situation in a far better condition than some predicted when the pandemic began. He managed to demonstrate to the American people that he works for the promotion of US products against China' onslaught on all markets," Frattini said. Also, he mentioned the agreement between Israel and a number of Arab states on the normalization of relations, which certainly should be posted on the credit side.

"He boasts good results, though there were some mistakes that deserved criticism. For instance, the severing of the deal with Iran on the control of Tehran's nuclear program. Also, Trump spoiled relations with some European countries, in particular, with Germany and France," Frattini said.

 

US pressure regarding sanction issue

 

Frattini stressed that the lack of a common foreign policy was Europe's great problem.

"Quite often [the European countries] demonstrate major disagreements. Libya is an example. Europe has lost influence in that country altogether. Europe's problem is it lacks unanimity in foreign policy matters," Frattini said.

At the same time, he remarked that Europe's unanimity regarding the issue of anti-Russian sanctions had been a result of US pressures from the outset.

"Supporting the sanctions against Russia is not in Europe's interests. It is a mistake," Frattini stressed. He described the restrictions imposed in the wake of the incident with Russian blogger Alexey Navalny as "sanctions take for sanctions' sake."

"I do hope for fundamental investigation of the Navalny incident. Russia has no reasons to conceal anything. Moreover, it is in the country's interest to provide everything required for an independent probe. If sanctions are taken for sanctions' sake, it is a totally different matter, but if the focus of attention is truth, then it is in Moscow's interests to cooperate," Frattini concluded.