Putin First

The world sees this lack of trust among the media, Democrats in Congress, and the Trump administration, while the absence of unity consolidates Russian influence over the United States. The good conduct of Russian-American relations goes beyond the interests of both nations, but prevails for the fate of regional conflicts.

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By Estelle Ndjandjo l October 3, 2017

At the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, a two-and-a-half-hour discussion, which was scheduled for thirty minutes between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, sparked the attention of the whole world. Although Russian-American bilateral relations involve common agreements, mutual distrust continues. The media revelations of interference in the 2016 U.S. election is widening the gap separating the United States from Russia.

Vladimir Putin never got along with Barack Obama. The relationship between the two nations deteriorated greatly following the crises in Ukraine and Syria. The Democratic President’s progressive ideological positions somehow prevented him from fostering a good relationship with Putin, which excluded him from international decisions. By orienting his international policy towards the East, the Russian president turned his isolation into an advantage, making himself essential. Where the U.S. failed in its negotiations, Vladimir Putin became the only bridge between Eastern leaders and the West.

Putin, the inevitable Tsar

A nuclear attack against the United States seems increasingly plausible as North Korea becomes more and more threatening. The country conducted a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test that crashed into the Sea of Japan but had a range of more than 1,700 miles, enough to reach Alaska. In order to put out the fire, Russia interceded with China to propose a freeze of North Korean nuclear activity. Historically, the Soviet Union has been the leader among communist countries with China acting as Russia’s little brother.

The former KGB officer is very close to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President. Despite talks between the United States and the Syrian government in exile in Europe, President Assad appears to be vital to stopping the conflict in Syria. This would allow ISIS to be defeated. Another ally of Putin and Assad, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is predominantly Shiite like Syria’s leadership, still lives under the American sanctions. The United States currently has no diplomatic relations with Tehran, preferring to strengthen diplomatic relations with its rival, Saudi Arabia.

The new administration tried to give a fresh start to Russian-US relations, as illustrated by President Trump’s tweet after his meeting with Putin: “… We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!” This balance of power is favorable to Russia and not to American interests. Dealing with Russia, however, requires America to ignore the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine and the Russian bombardments that caused so much civilian death in Aleppo.

The Russia fever

This idea of an American and Russian alliance is unpopular in Washington. Historically anti-Soviet, Republican politicians are generally suspicious of Putin and his intentions: “Partnering with Putin on a Cyber Security Unit is akin to partnering with Assad on a Chemical Weapons Unit,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio, commenting on President Trump’s desire to create a Russian-American cyber security unit.

Donald Trump is accused of falling into Putin’s trap, agreeing to let the Russian leader interfere in the American presidential election in his favor. Even as Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, or Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, have publicly denounced Putin’s actions, the succession of media allegations continues to accentuate the mistrust of the Democratic Party towards the White House.

The world sees this lack of trust among the media, Democrats in Congress, and the Trump administration, while the absence of unity consolidates Russian influence over the United States. The good conduct of Russian-American relations goes beyond the interests of both nations, but prevails for the fate of regional conflicts.


Estelle Ndjandjo is a French freelance journalist specializing in French and international politics. After extensive reporting experience all over the world, including the civil war in Ivory Coast, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and recent European events, she is currently on a personal assignment to the United States, where she is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

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