Europe and the potential for a Trump-Putin deal

Demonstrators in Prague, Czech Republic, hold effigies of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Demonstrators in Prague protest against Donald Trump’s policies. Some Europeans worry that normalization of U.S.-Russia relations could erode Western values (source: dpa)
  • Europe worries that normalization of U.S.-Russian ties could put it in danger
  • Presidents Trump and Putin have expressed willingness to make a deal
  • However, obstacles to such a deal are great, and the Kremlin may put up the biggest resistance

Will Donald Trump strike a deal with Vladimir Putin to normalize American relations with Russia? Given the potential consequences of such a decision, many European politicians are apprehensive. The future of common, value-based Western policies on Ukraine and Syria is at stake – and by implication, so is the cohesion of the European Union as a foreign policy actor. In a letter to European leaders, issued ahead of the EU summit in Malta on February 3, European Council President Donald Tusk added “worrying declarations by the new American administration” to a list of external challenges facing Europe. Mr. Tusk had ample ground for his misgivings.

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