World The Russian bonuses case confirms the difficulty of a Trump-Putin merger

17:25  30 june  2020
17:25  30 june  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  L'affaire des primes russes confirme la difficulté d'un rapprochement Trump-Poutine © Provided by Le Point

The first mandate of Donald Trump at the White House has been punctuated by the unsuccessful attempts at merger with the Russia . And now that it is coming to an end, this will comes up against the news again and again.

A complex case has come to remind to what point a normalization proves impossible for the president of United States , who however had just proposed once again to invite to the next summit of G7 his counterpart Vladimir Poutine , who had been excluded in 2014 from what was then the G8 for having annexed Crimea.

According to the New York Times , American intelligence has acquired the conviction that Moscow had distributed bonuses to insurgents for killing American soldiers in Afghanistan.

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Has the Republican President been informed, as claimed by several media? And if so, why didn't he fight back? And if not, why did those around him judge that the commander-in-chief should not be made aware of an event so explosive?

Questions and speculations have been flowing since this weekend, reinforced by confused communication from the White House.

After having assured that the secret services had not considered this information "credible", the presidency finally assured Monday that there was "no consensus" at this stage within the intelligence. And that as a result Donald Trump had not been briefed on this file before he burst into the open.

But too late, the American political class, viscerally anti-Russian, had already stepped up to the plate.

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"A disaster"

With Donald Trump, "all roads lead to Putin", launched the Democratic President of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner even argued for Russia to be blacklisted from states supporting terrorism.

Because the Russian file is one of the only ones on which the president's camp is still rebelling against his boss.

The suspicion against him finds its source in his pre-electoral promise of an improvement in relations with Vladimir Putin, but also on the suspicions of collusion between the Kremlin and his campaign team which poisoned a good part of his mandate.

And Donald Trump put fuel on the fire in the summer of 2018 in Helsinki when he seemed to want to believe the Russian president who had just denied head-to-head any interference in the 2016 American presidential election - which is no doubt for American intelligence.

Trump Is Testing Putin’s Campaign Strategy

  Trump Is Testing Putin’s Campaign Strategy How far will Russia go to save a sinking investment?News that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying bounties for killing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Donald Trump was briefed about it and took no action, is the latest shocking/unsurprising twist in a long and sordid saga. Some day, perhaps, the American people will learn why Trump is so subservient to Putin. Meanwhile, another important question is how far Putin is willing to go to help Trump get re-elected.

"It was a disaster," recalls James Jay Carafano, of the Heritage Conservative Foundation. "I think the president has learned from it," he told AFP.

All American presidents, since the end of the Cold War, have promised to improve ties with Moscow, with mixed results.

According to James Jay Carafano, who was a member of Donald Trump's transition team immediately after his election, his own promises were "as superficial as those of others".


"He had no secret plan to improve relations with Russia," he said.

The problem, he sums up bluntly, "is that to have better relations with Russia, you would have to change Putin", "and there is not the slightest sign that Putin wants to change".

This expert nevertheless defends the current policy of the Trump administration, which in fact has displayed a certain firmness towards the Russians.

Information on Russian premiums in Afghanistan confirms that a merger "is not an option", he still believes.

For Matthew Rojansky, of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, it even shows how bad relations have deteriorated.

"For those who follow the case, it is not surprising to learn that the Russians are looking for ways to kill Americans. We are in conflict with these people," he said.

Six years of sanctions have shown that the United States can "do a little harm to Russia, but not at all to the point of causing it to change its attitude".

And according to him, the escalation is likely to continue, especially as Moscow no longer seems to really bet on President-candidate Trump as in the past.

This expert recalls, however, that even during the darkest hours of the Cold War, the dialogue was not completely broken.

The two rival powers could therefore take advantage of the discussions they launched last week on the New Start treaty on nuclear weapons to deepen their exchanges.

"If we're looking for a front door, this is it," insists Matthew Rojansky.

06/30/2020 13:21:14 - Washington (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

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