US strike on Syria swiftly ends talk of warmer relations with Russia

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Russia’s hope was that Trump would make a positive difference, based on his new worldview: America first. The idea that American material interest would be given priority over human rights and liberal values is quite close to Putin’s approach. For him, realism beats idealism when it comes to foreign policy. But this alignment could only work if there’s room for a deal, rather than a conflicting interest.

Syria was supposed to be the main area where a deal with Russia was possible, since defeating IS is in both countries’ interests. Had Trump continued to emphasise the need to take on IS, he could have opened the possibility of a wider cooperation with Russia, perhaps paving the way for a wider rapprochement between the two countries. These hopes seem to have been premature at best. Taking on Assad sets him against Russia. So now, the focus must now be on preventing armed conflict between the two powers.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 07 Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History


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