21 March 2017

News Story: Sharp turnaround of Russia-U.S. relations unlikely

MOSCOW, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Relations between Russia and the United States have attracted great attention since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election last year, as the top leaders of both countries have implied the willingness to build rapprochement.

However, two months after Trump's inauguration, bilateral ties have not improved as many expected. In view of deep-rooted conflicts and competing interests, the confrontational pattern between the two countries is unlikely to be reconciled anytime soon, experts say.


It is said that Trump has personally been friendly to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which may seem to bring a ray of optimism for Russia-U.S. relations. However, with anti-Russian sentiments unprecedentedly dominant in Washington, it is not entirely up to Trump and his aides to shape the actual U.S. foreign policy towards Russia or to break the impasse of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Russia-U.S. relationship has deteriorated in recent years amid the crisis in Ukraine. The United States, along with its Western allies including the European Union, has introduced several rounds of sanctions over Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which led to Russia's countermeasures against the West in turn.

For the time being, the sanctions tactic shows no sign of ending. Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign last month due to accusations of his secret meeting with Russian ambassador to the United States and pledging sanctions relief against Moscow after Trump took office. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is stuck with similar allegations. So far, the Trump administration is suffering the greatest setback since his inauguration.

"I think that pressure on Trump will continue on the Russian issue. Russia is a convenient opponent for the U.S. political establishment, and there is some inertness of the conflict in the development of relations inherited from the previous president," said Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

Read the full story at Xinhua