How will Russia approach its relationship with President Trump?

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7 November
15:32
November
2016

The Russian leadership – President Putin and his inner circle – are very much in support of Trump, to the point of not only expressing public sentiment in his favour, but likely to the point of intervening in this election. The US government has found that Russian agencies have been involved in the hacking of American email servers, including those of the Democratic National Committee, and possibly even that of Hillary Clinton – and of course that is done to get out documents which are possibly prejudicial to Clinton’s campaign, and therefore boost Trump.

"The reasons for Russia’s support for Trump lie in the trepidation of Russia’s leadership about the prospect of a President Clinton."

The reasons for Russia’s support for Trump lie in the trepidation of Russia’s leadership about the prospect of a President Clinton. We are a long way away from 2009, when as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in that rather unfortunate photo opportunity, pressed the big red button which said ‘Reset’, while Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov – a shrewd, sharp, tough man – was beside her.

The infamous 'Reset' button, 2009

Where we are now, in 2016, is that Russia is very much involved in Ukraine, and has annexed Crimea, and the Obama administration has taken a relatively cautious line. Clinton may be tougher. And in Syria, where Obama has pursued a co-operative relationship with Russia, Clinton has signalled that she favours protected zones – which Russia does not want.

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