Writing in Politico, a woman who has studied Russia for two decades suggests the American public had better open its eyes to the relationship between Russian president Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump.
Given Russia’s capabilities and its recent patterns, it is not at all far-fetched to ask whether Trump is indeed the “puppet” Secretary Clinton mockingly named him in the second presidential debate. Is he financially and politically beholden to Russians close to the government and to the Kremlin itself? If so, is he prepared to accommodate Putin’s interests? Should we expect a robust “reset,” in the tense relationship between the two countries, perhaps one that even compromises U.S. interests, like the stability of its allies in Europe, and American values, like democracy and human rights? If the Trump administration attempts one, it is worth noting that whatever the U.S. gives up would likely be very temporary: For domestic political reasons, Putin needs the United States as its public enemy, given Russia’s current and foreseeable economic situation, and Russian presidential elections are coming up in 2018.