Mixed Trump Administration Messages on Russia
by Stephen Lendman
It's hard recalling how many times Trump said he'd like to get along with Vladimir Putin and have better relations with Russia.
At the same time, his press secretary and UN envoy said sanctions won't be removed until Moscow returns Crimea, its sovereign territory, and halts the fighting in southeastern Ukraine - instigated by US-installed putschists in Kiev.
During his Thursday press conference, Trump again said he'd love to get along with Russia. His actions speak louder than words.
Firing Michael Flynn, his key geopolitical point man favoring improved US/Russia relations, at least lessoned hopes for achieving what he said he favors - at worst, dashed them altogether, especially given Washington's political establishment and media scoundrels strongly against rapprochement.
Rhetoric is meaningless. Policies alone matter. Despite Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov getting along during their first meeting in Bonn, Germany on Thursday, bilateral relations remain more hostile than friendly.
Lavrov said sanctions weren't discussed, adding he and Tillerson agreed to continue contacts.
Tillerson said "(a)s we search for new common ground, we expect Russia to honor its commitment to the Minsk agreements and work to de-escalate violence in Ukraine."
Fact: Russia and Donbass freedom fighters scrupulously observe Minsk terms. Washington and its Kiev puppet regime undermined them.
During his yearend press conference, Putin said the West is "trying to…chain the bear…take out (its) fangs and claws (so it) will just be a stuffed animal."
On Crimea, he said "(t)o chop Texas from Mexico is fair, but when we make a decision about our territories it is unfair."
He called war in Donbass "a punitive operation launched by Kiev." No Russian soldiers or mercenaries are involved, only some former military personnel there as unpaid volunteers.
He explained Russia's military readiness is vital to protect the nation's interests and security. "We are not aggressive," he said, unlike America with "military bases…all over the world" - launching pads for aggressive wars.
Putin extended outreach to Trump, congratulating him on his electoral triumph, indicating he's eager for improved bilateral relations. Both leaders spoke by phone. A bilateral summit meeting is likely later this year.
In Bonn, Lavrov said Moscow and Washington have common interests in combating terrorism and seeking diplomatic solutions to conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
Russia is a reliable political, economic and military partner. America is a warrior nation. Obama bragged about it. So far, Trump hasn't curbed US aggression.
Putting a general nicknamed "mad dog" in charge of America's military, a figure expressing open hostility toward Russia and China, is no way to end US imperial madness and improve bilateral relations with both countries.
So far, Trump's geopolitical agenda looks like he'll continue Washington's warrior tradition, featuring endless wars on humanity, wanting all sovereign independent countries transformed into US vassal states.
Russia, China, Iran and other nations have just cause for concern. As long as US imperial madness continues, world peace and stability will remain unattainable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.