Vladimir Putin no longer makes the mistake of believing that the US president exercises any meaningful control over US military and foreign policy. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:
Whatever hopes Russia’s leader may have had for a more workable relationship with the U.S. have been “trumpled,” so to speak.
Russian hopes dashed: Whatever hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin may have had for a more workable relationship with the Trump administration have been “trumpled,” so to speak. This came through loudly and clearly in acerbic remarks by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in an interview Friday with The National Interest.
Ryabkov lamented the sad state of Russia-U.S. relations, while pointing, not very subtly, to China as Russia’s ace in the hole. He was simply acknowledging that what the Soviets used to call “the correlation of forces” has changed markedly, and strongly implied that the U.S. should draw the appropriate conclusions.
No amateur diplomat, Ryabkov used unusually sharp, almost certainly pre-authorized, words to drive home his message:
“We don’t believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever. So our own calculations and conclusions are less related to what America is doing … we cherish our close and friendly relations with China. We do regard this as a comprehensive strategic partnership in different areas, and we intend to develop it further.”
In other words: We Russians and Chinese will stand together as the U.S. tries to paint both of us as arch-villains, all the while isolating itself and painting itself into a corner.