November 20th, 2016

  • luvdovz

Vlad would be disappointed

When it became clear that Trump was winning the election, the Russian parliament (Duma) burst into loud applause. The Russian MPs took the triumph of The Donald as their own. And that's no surprise: the Kremlin openly declared its sympathies for Trump more than a year ago, when he was still considered an underdog. And now, after this lengthy campaign, the Russian elites are feeling validated, relieved, happy. Because it turns out Putin has bet on a winning card yet again.

As has been discussed here before, there are two main reasons for Russia's love for Trump. First, Russia hated Hillary in their guts, because all signs pointed to a possible hard-line US stance to Russia in case of a Clinton administration - on issues from Ukraine and Syria to human rights. Secondly, Russia was intrigued by the signals that Trump was sending on the campaign trail: he regularly spoke of warming up to Russia, and even hinted he could accept the annexation of Crimea. And this was quite something for Putin!

The Russian president was hoping (and probably still is) that Trump would forgive his sins in Crimea, and work for dropping the sanctions against Russia. This hope is reinforced by the impression that good business could be done with a fellow macho authoritarian like Trump, even some friendship could be started. After all, they're both on the same page in terms of their worldview. Or at least a similar page. Trump seems like something like a second Berlusconi, only much more powerful.

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