Obama, nudging Trump, says he must ‘stand up’ to Russia
President Barack Obama prodded Donald Trump on Thursday to take a tougher approach toward Russia, urging the president-elect to “stand up” to Moscow when it violates global norms. The Kremlin accused Obama of trying to lock in bad relations before Trump takes office.
In Europe for his last time as president, Obama said he doesn’t expect Trump to mirror his own strategy on Russia, and hopes his successor will work constructively with the superpower where appropriate. Yet he insisted the U.S. mustn’t gloss over deep disagreements over Syria, Ukraine and basic democratic values.
“My hope is that he does not simply take a realpolitik approach,” Obama said in Berlin, using a German term for a foreign policy driven by expediency. He said he hopes the businessman won’t cut deals with Russia if it hurts other countries or “just do whatever is convenient at the time.”