Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trump Not Pro-Russia, Says Its Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

Trump Not Pro-Russia, Says Its Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

by Stephen Lendman

Profiles in courage are absent in Washington, especially on geopolitical issues, notably on relations with Russia.

In January, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Trump is not pro-Russia. She distinguished between Russophobe Hillary Clinton and Trump’s more responsible comments, calling getting along with Russia a good thing.

He clearly prioritized combating ISIS, and by inference international terrorism. “This gives certain hope, because it indeed is a challenge, a threat that we all are facing,” Zakhavova explained.

During a February 9 press briefing, she blasted US-dominated NATO for “prefer(ring) to deal with virtual (disconnected from reality) and nonexistent threats.”

Russia poses none, not now or earlier against any nation. Western and Middle East supported terrorism is real, a scourge vital to eliminate.

So far, Russia is the only world power actively combating it. “Obama made numerous statements on fighting international terrorism,” said Zakharova.

Instead he supported it while waging regional war. Trump’s comments are well-known, his intentions yet to unfold.

After three weeks in office, he’s yet to wage war on terrorism as promised, except for a botched Yemeni raid, massacring civilians, destroying a village, showing US policies remain hostile to peace and stability. Continuing drone attacks, largely killing civilians, indicate nothing changed so far.

Zakhavova said Russia had no contacts with the State Department. Putin and Trump spoke, not Tillerson and Lavrov, a first step to initiating regular dialogue on mutual interests.

“(T)he new administration has not published its foreign policy concept,” Zakharova explained. “I do not know whether it has been formulated or not.” 

“There is nothing in the public space, nor have we received any details via diplomatic channels.” It’s holding things up. It’s vital to address this.

“The new administration should begin by developing a global or, conversely, a regional doctrine, a foreign policy concept, a vision of its foreign policy - either regional or general - and then the first diplomatic contacts can begin and take place,” said Zakhavova. 

“Then we can start cooperating as is usual diplomatic practice. Thus far, no contacts of this kind have occurred.”

Even with a “new guy” in charge, how Tillerson described himself to State Department personnel day one on the job, he should have by now contacted his counterparts in key countries like Russia and China.

Trump has been speaking with foreign leaders almost daily, including Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.

US relations toward Russia are adversarial. Obama plunged them to a new low in decades, including baseless accusations of US election hacking, and piling on illegal sanctions solely for political reasons.

Fence-mending won’t come easily or at all if Trump doesn’t follow through responsibly on campaign rhetoric. Russia is ready to work actively with Washington in areas of mutual interest - no US overtures made so far.

Cooperative relations require someone promoting it “from the other end,” Zakharova stressed.

Bipartisan relations are deplorable because of hostile Obama policies. It’ll be a while before Trump’s intentions are known.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.