The presidential election in the United States is over: the 45th president is billionaire Donald Trump. During the race, many experts said that if elected, Trump would change his country’s foreign policy. What are they expecting now? In an interview to EADaily, political expert, professor at the Russian Plekhanov University of Economics Vitaly Zhuravlev has shared his expectations from Trump’s victory. Despite certain optimism, he does not expect special changes.
Did you expect Trump to win and what will his victory give to Russia?
Experts said that Trump and Clinton had equal chances to win but the results have shown that Trump had a big advantage. We can expect certain changes in the home policy but the foreign policy will remain the same as geo-politics needs stability. I think experts expected too much from Trump’s victory: we will hardly see any serious changes in Russian-U.S. relations or the United States’ policy in the Middle East or the South Caucasus.
Even if Trump changes anything, he will do it step by step. In the Russian-U.S. relations, we can expect certain improvements as, unlike Clinton, Trump has no personal contradictions with Putin. In the South Caucasus, the Americans will hardly change anything. This is also true for the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. After all, most of the people working for the U.S. Department of State, the FBI and CIA will stay in their offices, so, there will be no drastic changes in the United States’ foreign policy.
Some experts say that Clinton would make the United States’ policy on Russia even tougher, while under Trump, it will become softer.
I don’t think that Trump will rush to lift the sanctions. The United States and Russia are rivals in many regions and the sanctions are the Americans’ key weapon against the Russians. So, they will hardly put it aside.
How will the results of the election influence the situation in Mosul and Aleppo? Many experts said that the growing tensions in Iraq and Syria were just a pre-election move.
I don’t think so. Those experts just wanted to show that the wars in Iraq and Syria were the policy of Obama, Clinton and their party. But this is not true: this is a geopolitical priority for the United States and it does not depend on who is power in Washington.
Very soon we will see Trump breaking some of his pre-electoral promises. In the United States’ policy there is a term called “realpolitik.” This policy is based on the use of military and economic levers and the Republicans are strong advocates of it. So, as a Republican, Trump will certainly follow it.
But one of the key statements made by Trump during his post-election speech was ‘Partnership, not conflicts’. Is this also a part of Realpolitik?
Let’s wait and see. The very idea to minimize conflicts is good, especially now that lots of countries have missiles and nuclear weapons. On the other hand, I don’t think that the Americans will give up on their geopolitical interests and their concept of global dominance. Trump may well focus on home problems and put aside some foreign political ambitions but this does not mean that the general foreign strategy will be changed.
Interviewed by Lia Khojoyan