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LN: Trump would never “sell” Czechs to Russia

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Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) – Czechs need not fear that Donald Trump would “sell” them to Russia if elected U.S. president next week, because the Czech Republic is a part of the U.S. sphere of geopolitical influence and Russia has nothing to offer in exchange, Jan Machacek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) Friday.
During his presidential campaign, Trump, the Republican candidate, said the USA’s allies will have to pay more for their defence. By his statement he probably wanted to call on NATO countries to fulfil their commitment to raise their defence spending to 2 percent of GDP, Machacek writes, adding that only Estonia, Poland and Greece meet the pledge now.
For Prague, this would mean a significant relocation of state expenditures, but there is nothing bad about Trump’s call on it to fulfil its commitments as a NATO member, Machacek writes.
He admits that tension would probably arise if the Czech defence spending were to rise very substantially.
Trump also said he likes Russian President Vladimir Putin as a resolute leader, that they would understand each other and would reach agreement. This however, cannot be interpreted as Trump’s readiness to sell the Czechs to Russians within a treacherous business deal, Machacek writes.
More probably, Trump and Putin, the two tough guys, would divide their respective spheres of influence and agree on a division line they would respect, Machacek writes.
Such resolute and personalised “macho diplomacy” may be prompt and effective, but it may also be very volatile and instable, since the machos can fall out with each other any time, Machacek writes.
Another question is in whose sphere of influence the Czech Republic will end if the spheres were agreed upon. Some Czechs stay calm, arguing that Czech blood circulates in the veins of Trump’s children by his first wife Ivana. Others, nevertheless, say Trump’s relations with his Czech-born ex-wife are very bad, for which he may punish the Czechs, Machacek writes.
He says the Czechs still will not face any of the above risks if Trump became president.
NATO is a security and defence pact, but it is also a U.S. sphere of geopolitical influence. Why should the USA cede it to Russia’s sphere of influence? What could Russia offer to the USA? Money? Nonsense. A part of Siberia? Even a bigger nonsense, Machacek writes.
The USA is no autocracy. It has laws, the Congress, authorities, judiciary, diplomacy and economic and ideological interests, international treaties, civic society etc. All this cannot be subverted or turned upside down by a single president, Machacek writes.
There are politicians who plan to fulfil their promises after elections and those who ignore their own promises. The former are paradoxically more dangerous, Machacek writes, giving Hungary and Poland as warning examples.
Trump would probably be the latter type of politician. He would focus on future, the show and limelight rather than fulfil his election promises, Machacek writes.
It would also depend on the Trump administration’s lineup. The Republican Party would definitely fill the administration posts with well-proved loyal officials, thereby making the uncontrollable Trump more controllable, Machacek writes.
In addition, Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence is a very serious man who has even taken up the plan to install a U.S. missile defence radar in the Czech Republic, Machacek writes.
The Czechs should realise, however, that Trump as president will have no reason to try to persuade someone who would not like to be an ally of the USA or would be uncertain about it, Machacek writes.
As far as Trump’s much feared protectionism is concerned, it will probably focus on cheap imports from Asia and Mexico. Europe does not endanger work positions in the USA. The success of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal is uncertain, but mutual openness will remain on the present level at least, Machacek writes.
The most important test in the foreseeable future will be Syria. Russia will soon considerably reinforce its positions there and it will try to leave the new U.S. president with this as a fait accompli. Putin will either try to reach a deal with his new “friend” Trump within their new “macho diplomacy” or corner Hillary Clinton, if elected Democrat president, from the position of palpable force, Machacek writes.

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