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Czech analysts say U.S.- Russia relations will change with Trump

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Prague, Nov 9 (CTK) – The election of Donald Trump as the U.S. president can bring about a change to the country’s stance on Russia, political analysts surveyed by CTK yesterday agreed, but they differed on how much it can affect the trans-Atlantic bond and relations within NATO.
They did not rule out the possibility that the Trump-headed United States will prefer playing a smaller role in the world.
“It is disquieting that Donald Trump speaks relatively positively about (Russian President) Vladimir Putin, that he wants to cooperate with Russia. This would weaken the NATO structure,” Petr Bohacek, from the Association for International Affairs, said.
He said the emphasis on relations with Russia is a very stronger risk than Trump having threatened in the campaign that the United States would not come in aid of the countries that do not fulfil their NATO commitments.
Jan Eichler, from the International Relations Institute, said Trump spoke positively about Russia and Putin in his campaign and that he may repeat this in his presidency.
“The emphasis on confrontation (with Russia) may be smaller now,” Eichler said.
“I do not think that the trans-Atlantic bond will dramatically weaken. He will probably pressurise other countries into contributing more to the joint defence, into not leaving everything up to the Untied States only,” Eichler said.
Bohacek said Washington’s isolationist tendencies may mount under Trump.
“Upsetting ties of alliance by the United States can destabilise several regions and the isolationist policy would clearly limit its strength and its opportunity to influence developments in the world,” Eichler said.
In addition to the weakening of relations within NATO, the situation in South-East Asia could be serious because cooperation with the United States is the cornerstone of South Korea and Japan’s security policy, he said.
Bohacek said Trump’s victory is a great surprise. “This only proves the inability to predict people’s decision, which was also proved in Britain (Brexit referendum) and in connection with the peace agreement in Colombia,” he said.
Eichler said he was not surprised by the presidential election’s result alone, but which candidates were chosen as well.
“The candidates were not the strongest ones. Eight years ago, for instance, the election campaign of (incumbent President Barack) Obama and his rival (Senator John) McCain was full of important ideas. This was not true of this campaign,” he added.

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