: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine`s envoy to Council of Europe points at problems with Trump-Putin ”grand bargain”


U.S. President Donald Trump wants to improve relations with Russia, while Moscow is in a great relationship the America`s major adversaries, according to Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe Dmytro Kuleba, the Novoe Vremya weekly reported.

As Donald Trump said he sincerely wished to seal a ”good deal” with Vladimir Putin, foreign media and experts, in the spirit of our time, upgraded the term to a ”grand bargain,” sowing fear. While fear over the possible trade-off is building up, reaching the deal between the two leaders seems highly unlikely, according to the publication. In politics, as in business, on the path to a complicated agreement, it is necessary to show the will, overcome a number of obstacles, and be lucky enough to bring different interests to a common denominator, according to the report.

”Trump and Putin know what will is. They both believe in their lucky star. But it is not enough to overcome at least six toughest obstacles,” said Kuleba.

The first one is China. Undoubtedly, the new U.S. administration sees the strategic threat to America in China, not in Russia. Meanwhile, Putin sincerely calls China Russia`s major partner.

”It is not surprising because the Russian Federation is critically dependent on China in terms of its economy, national security issues in the Far East, and foreign policy, where the two countries` positions on key issues are identical. Breaking this link would be even harder than the ties between Russia and Iran,” Kuleba said.

The second obstacle is the struggle for leadership: ”In Syria, Trump will want America to be the first, but Russia is already first there. And it will be not easy for Putin to give in, the same as for Trump to avow himself junior partner.”

In addition, the Russian shadow pursues Trump in his internal policy: a response to any of his good words about Russia and Putin is a powerful chorus of opponents of any concessions to Moscow.

There is also the problem of distrust between Trump and Putin: both players are capable of eventually failing to pay their bills, Kuleba said. They find it difficult to trust each other.

”And when there is no trust between the two, the cost of any mistake sky-rockets,” he stressed.

Kuleba draws attention to the fact that Ukraine is being intimidated with prospects of becoming the primary victim of a ”grand bargain.”

”In one of President Trump`s most beloved terms, this is `fake news.` Russia may attempt to include Ukraine in the agreement. But it`s not so easy to knock over a state, which is willing and able to defend itself,” Kuleba said.

Thus, Trump seeks to improve relations with Russia, which at the same time is in great relations with America`s adversaries. The trust between the U.S. and Russia is extremely poor, the U.S. president faces a powerful opposition within the U.S. to his rapprochement with Putin.

”Of course, everything is possible in politics. But so far, the `grand bargain` sees some big problems,” the article concludes.

Full interview will be available in Russian in the latest edition of Novoye Vremya.

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