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Zeman’s foreign policy aide: Trump may take unexpected steps

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – New U.S. President Donald Trump will take unexpected steps and he will tend to focus on domestic affairs, Hynek Kmonicek, head of the Czech Presidential Office foreign affairs department, said in a public debate on Thursday.

Kmonicek, who may be named the next Czech ambassador to the USA, said he did not expect Trump to listen much to his aides.

The debate was attended by former Czech ambassadors to the USA Alexandr Vondra and Michael Zantovsky.

“Foreign policy will not be his priority. Rather, he will focus on domestic affairs, like most U.S. presidents,” Kmonicek said.

“He is likely to boast of what he did not do or what he cancelled in foreign policy,” he added.

Although he will be largely active on the domestic soil, the relations between the USA, Russia and China will be the crucial question of Trump’s presidency, the three former ambassadors agreed.

Vondra said Trump would choose quite the opposite strategy than Barack Obama.

“There will be the transaction policy in the style of a barter as he is a businessman,” Vondra said.

Peace Nobel Prize laureate Obama made the mistake when trying to reach reconciliation with Russia without having demanded anything in return, he added.

Zantovsky, too, spoke about the weakening foreign policy influence of the USA under Obama’s presidency.

He warned that Trump’s efforts to find a new model of functioning with Russia and China could be dangerous to Europe.

“There is the question of what price he will pay to improve the relations with Russia. There is also the question of what price we should pay for it,” Zantovsky said.

Kmonicek said it was difficult to say how Trump would behave specifically in the role of U.S. president.

“He is doing the things that should not be done because he does not know that they should not be done,” he added.

“I am convinced that his aides will not have any major influence on him because one cannot influence him,” Kmonicek said.

Zantovsky, now director of the former president Vaclav Havel Library, said the U.S. political system did not make it possible for Trump to behave as impulsively and unpredictably as during his campaign.

“The system is no rule of a single man that depends on his whim,” Zantovsky said.

“It includes both chambers of the Congress and the Supreme Court. It was tested by time. I do not think that Trump will be able to circumvent the system miraculously,” he added.

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