Trump’s Victory Shocked the Kremlin, Too

WIB politics November 17, 2016 War Is Boring 0

Vladimir Putin in Nov. 2015. Ahenobarbus Henocied photo via Wikimedia Podcast — despite the budding bromance, Moscow has no idea how to handle the president-elect by...
Vladimir Putin in Nov. 2015. Ahenobarbus Henocied photo via Wikimedia

Podcast — despite the budding bromance, Moscow has no idea how to handle the president-elect

by MATTHEW GAULT

Russia, like much of the world, thought Hillary Clinton was a lock for the U.S. presidency. Vladimir Putin seemingly took a gamble by supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump, including apparent attempts to disrupt the American election.

It turns out that gamble paid off in spades.

But Trump’s unexpected victory sent officials in the Kremlin scrambling to come up with a plan to deal with the most unpredictable American president in recent memory. Moscow hopes for a grand bargain — a defined sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, eased Western sanctions and a bigger seat at the table in all international discussions.

Unfortunately, no one has any idea what Trump is going to do. He is Henry Kissinger’s “Madman Theory” of geopolitics personified.

The president-elect is more of a danger to Russia than the West might think, but he could also offer a grand opportunity for officials in Moscow. Trump might represent the kind of reset both sides have been looking for in the past.

This week on War College, Russia expert Mark Galeotti walks us through what a Trump victory might mean for U.S.-Russia relations — and why half of your friends are posting stories about World War III on Facebook.


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