This article was originally published in Russian on
At the same time that the head of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, was having a discussion over the phone with the president-elect of the USA, Donald Trump, a US Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk strategic drone completed the latest in a series of reconnaissance flights near the southern borders of Russia.
A little earlier, an American RC-135W strategic reconnaissance plane was near the sea space of the primary base for the Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad Oblast, and other NATO reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft attempted to locate three Russian atomic submarines in the Northern Atlantic.
During the past several months, the Pentagon’s and NATO’s drone and air reconnaissance assets have daily been appearing on the borders of the Russian Federation. This has been noted by Western sites that track the movements of military aviation. It has been noted USA and NATO military intelligence have taken an interest in practically all Russia’s military assets on the Baltic, in Crimea, the Arctic, on the shores of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and also in the areas around Russian bases in Syria and the areas of deployment of Russian Navy military vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Moscow is anxious concerning the the continuing ‘creep’ of NATO infrastructure towards the borders of Russia. In European public opinion, and also in the Russian Federation, the opinion is forming that the intensity of the standoff can be ramped down by the president-elect of the USA, who has announced a reset of relations with Moscow.
Admittedly, so far nobody is saying that after the change of administration in the White House something will change in this regard. Yesterday the acting president Barrack Obama assured the American public that after Donald Trump enters the post of head of the USA, there will not be “any weakening” of NATO’s and the USA’s commitment. “In my conversation with the president-elect (Trump –
) he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships,” stated Obama, “and so, one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance.”
Trump’s close supporter, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was named one of the main candidates for the position of Secretary of State in the new administration, yesterday assured the
Wall Street Journal
that there would, of course, be a reset of relations with the Russian Federation. In Giuliani’s opinion, this might take place in an organization for joint struggle against the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in the Russian Federation). Putin and Trump discussed this aspect in their first telephone conversation, having given support for closer cooperation “that will ensure the interests of both countries, as well as stability and safety throughout the world”.
In Giuliani’s opinion, Trump will “negotiate for peace, but with strength”. The politician noted that the reset of relations with Russia will take place under conditions when the new president has significantly strengthened the Armed Forces of the USA. “Russia thinks it’s a military competitor, it really isn’t. It’s our unwillingness under Obama to even threaten the use of our military that makes Russia so powerful”, he said.
“It’s still too early to draw conclusions regarding how hostile the new administration in the White House will be towards Russia”, says Colonel Eduard Rodyukov, member correspondent of the Academy of Military Sciences. At the same time, he notes that it is obvious that “In the future the USA will, all the same, increase its military expenses. And this, of course will be connected with threats to Russia’s military security.” The expert is concerned that Russia might again be pulled into an arms race, and that Trump “will turn out to be such a hawk that, in comparison the Obama administration will seem a snowy lamb.”
In turn, military expert and Lieutenant-General Yuri Netkachev is convinced that the Americans won’t manage to impose their will on Russia in the future. “Trump’s circle is reproaching the Obama administration for insufficient pride in the USA’s military strength. They say that it’s because of this that Russia once more considers itself a powerhouse, strong in a military sense. But this is absurd. Russia can fend off threats coming from them with asymmetrical measures and without serious consequences for the economy”, said the general assuredly.