US professor: Trump can’t fix Russia-U.S. ties

U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015.

Reuters
John Mearsheimer, political scientist and Chicago University professor, sees no reason for conflict between Moscow and Washington, but feels that a change in relations is unlikely in the present circumstances.

Even if he should win the U.S. presidential elections, Donald Trump will fail to substantially alter U.S. policy towards Russia, said John Mearsheimer, a professor at the Chicago University and a scholar of political science who has established a neorealist school of thought in international studies.

“Trump [if he wins] would end up looking not much different than Hillary will end up looking when she replaces Barack Obama,” said Mearsheimer, speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow on October 18. “There is not much room for manoeuvre in the American context.”

Although an ardent opponent of Trump, the scholar agreed there were parallels between his own views, particularly on Russia, and those of the Republican nominee.

“Donald Trump instinctively is opposed to global domination. He is more interested in restraint,” said Mearsheimer, who has earlier laid the blame for the deterioration in Washington’s ties with Moscow at the door of U.S. foreign policy.

“The problem is that Trump gives our views a bad name, because so many people in the foreign policy establishment are axiomatically opposed to anything he says. Therefore they are opposed, by definition, to our ideas about the importance of restraint [towards Russia],” said Mearsheimer.

Despite mounting tensions between the Kremlin and the White House, Mearsheimer refuted the possibility of an open conflict between Russia and the United States.

“Despite all of the bad blood between Russia and the United States today, I do not think that the most likely conflict is between these two countries,” said Mearsheimer, who has frequently warned the U.S. foreign policy establishment about the threats associated with the rise of China.

“The Russians and the Americans have no good reason to be competing with each other in a serious way,” said Mearsheimer. He argues that the importance of the European continent is diminishing in the eyes of the U.S. leadership, which must seek to reorient its foreign policy toward Asia.Shevchen

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