Global pol­i­tics go­ing Rus­sia’s, Putin’s way

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: WITH THE elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as pres­i­dent of the United States, I know that at least one other sig­nif­i­cant world lead­ers must be smil­ing from ear-to-ear – Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin.

In his list of global musthaves, he got what he wished for with the re­sults of those elec­tions. Clearly, the world is go­ing Rus­sia’s way.

A few years ago, Rus­sia made it very clear to NATO that its east­ward ex­pan­sion into Europe would not be tol­er­ated. Mr Putin got his Par­lia­ment to au­tho­rise a Rus­sian in­va­sion of the Ukraine. Rus­sia got what it wanted: NATO’s halt and its re­fusal to give se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to ad­mit­ting the Ukraine.

Added to that, Mr Putin then sent the Rus­sian army into the Crimea and an­nexed the Ukrainian ter­ri­tory. Again, the West did noth­ing and Putin won.

Now, the Amer­i­cans have elected a pres­i­dent who has openly said that he is not too in­dif­fer­ent to any plan to for­mally recog­nise that Rus­sian con­quest.

VERY LIT­TLE DOUBT

While Rus­sian in­flu­ence in Great Bri­tain is de­bat­able, there can be very lit­tle doubt that a Euro­pean Union with­out Bri­tain is very much more pre­ferred to Rus­sia than a Euro­pean Union with that coun­try. So when the Bri­tish voted to leave the Union, Rus­sia and Mr Putin were, no doubt, very happy. A weaker Euro­pean Union, with­out Bri­tain, as far as Mr Putin can see, must mean a strong Rus­sia in Europe.

There have been many claims that Rus­sia and, by ex­ten­sion, Mr Putin have been med­dling in Amer­i­can in­ter­nal af­fairs, by be­ing a sig­nif­i­cant string-puller to pre­vent Hil­lary Clin­ton from win­ning. As we have all seen, that has hap­pened.

Mr Putin has been one of the few world lead­ers who has openly been happy with the elec­tion of Mr Trump – as he should be. Mrs Clin­ton had stated her de­sire to im­pose a no-fly zone over Syria (an im­pos­si­ble task, mind you, as Rus­sia would never have al­lowed that). How­ever, Mr Trump has been say­ing that such a plan would risk war with Rus­sia – and he was not for it.

Clearly, the Trump vic­tory has given the Rus­sians at least some more hope that it can push through its Syr­ian pol­icy with­out hav­ing to worry much about what the Amer­i­cans would do – not that the US could have done very much any­way.

Whether or not Mr Trump will stay true to what Mr Putin hopes when he be­comes pres­i­dent re­mains to be seen, but Rus­sia must be pleased that much of the world’s pol­i­tics seems to be go­ing its way right now. MICHAEL A. DING­WALL michael_a_d­ing­wall@hot­mail.com Kingston

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