Nelli Babayan in Euronews
On January 24, 2017, Euronews published an op-ed by Transatlantic Academy nonresident fellow Nelli Babayan, entitled "Trump-Putin deal: easing tensions with restrained engagement."
Babayan argues that "In a nutshell, the crisis in relations between Russia and the West is two-fold. First, there’s the Kremlin’s perception that the United States and Europe are set to undermine the survival of Putin’s regime. In return, the Kremlin has mobilized its own resources to undermine whomever it considers hostile in Europe and the United States. Second, there’s the clash of their visions for a specific group of states in between Russia and Europe: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Russia has considered American and European economic assistance and democracy promotion as threatening to its position in the neighbourhood." While Russians have welcomed the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, this "does not mean that the Kremlin would readily welcome any policy coming from the White House." However, Washington is "likely to be less involved in the area that Russia calls its Near Abroad and considers its historical sphere of influence, thus inadvertently easing the tensions." Not only Trump but also Barack Obama recently suggested that "these countries may not be a core interest for the United States, but they are for Russia."
The full piece can be read here.